Pfizer blocked a shipment of 700,000 anti Covid vaccines to Israel until further notice. The freeze is due to the non-payment that the company would not have received from Tel Aviv for the last 2.5 million doses sent.

Pfizer’s anger

The American Big Pharma, according to reports from the Jerusalem Post, fears the transition government may not pay for supplies. It is for this reason, therefore, that the company would have stopped shipments “as a sign of indignation“The tones between the two contenders are very warm, given that Pfizer, the broadcaster pointed out Army Radio, called Israel a “Banana Republic“. The load of 700 thousand vaccines ended up in the eye of the storm, he should have arrived at his destination on Sunday, on Easter Sunday.

From what is learned from the Israeli media, Tel Aviv has paid the first 10 million of vaccines received to manage most of its mass vaccination campaign (record), before 2021. From the beginning of the new year onwards, Israel seems to have been experiencing some difficulties. At that point, Pfizer agreed to ship extra doses, even though the government wouldn’t approve any purchase order.

Calculator in hand, Israel has so far paid out the consideration for Covid vaccines 670 million euros. It also appears that the Israeli government is not discussing the cost of the doses due to confidentiality agreements entered into with individual pharmaceutical companies. In any case, Tel Aviv paid every single dose much more than any other country. The figures are shrouded in mystery, but the rumors are quite emblematic. For each Pfizer dose, the European Union would pay around $ 14.50 compared to $ 28 for Israel.

The reasons for the clash

In recent days, the Ministry of Health has lobbied the government to approve the purchase of over 30 million additional vaccines before Passover (April 4). The government was supposed to meet last Monday but the meeting was postponed due to a conflict between the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the alternate prime minister Benny Gantz.

Gantz would have canceled the meeting because of Netanyahu’s refusal to approve the permanent appointment of a Minister of Justice. His term as interim minister of justice ended on 2 April, three months after taking office in place of Avi Nissenkorn, who had resigned. In the last few hours Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Health, tried to persuade Gantz to continue the payment and purchase of vaccines.

A spokesperson for Gantz, again according to sources of the Jerusalem Post, explained that “even though the prime minister has done a lot to damage the functioning of the government“, the deputy prime minister”it will do nothing that would affect the health of the Israeli people by denying vaccines“. Other sources in Gantz’s office have stated that if this meeting is so urgent for Edelstein,”all he has to do is call Prime Minister Netanyahu and ask him to nominate a Minister of Justice“.

As if that weren’t enough, Gantz’s own office said that the purchase of the 2.5 million vaccines had already been approved, and that any delay in payment would be in the name of the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, Israel would have already bought 27 million vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – “which should be sufficient for the foreseeable future“. The fears are, however, oriented towards the future. After this diatribe with Pfizer, there is a risk that Tel Aviv could lose the opportunity to purchase additional vaccines, as a priority, should the virus come back.

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