The abrupt turnaround got here after well being officers in Ramallah inspected the primary supply of virtually 90,000 doses Friday afternoon, the Palestinian Well being Minister mentioned.
”It was discovered that the doses didn’t conform to the technical specs as beforehand agreed upon, and that their expiry date was shut,” minister Mai Alkaila mentioned, in keeping with the official Palestinian information company Wafa.
”Therefore, we reached out to Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, and a choice was made to cancel the deal,” Alkaila added.
The transfer to switch Israel’s surplus inventory of Pfizer vaccines to Palestinians within the occupied territories, an association already within the works beneath the earlier Netanyahu administration, in keeping with Israeli media studies, was introduced Friday morning by the Israeli authorities.
A authorities assertion had acknowledged the vaccines “will expire quickly” but it surely was not clear precisely how a lot time remained for Palestinian well being authorities to manage the doses earlier than expiration.
In response to Reuters, Alkaila mentioned Israel had informed the PA the vaccines expired in July or August, but it surely turned out the true date was June.
As a part of the agreed association, a cargo of Pfizer vaccines supposed for the PA later within the yr was to have been transferred to Israel as an alternative. The PA says it’s now calling on Pfizer to hurry up that cargo to Palestinians, as per the unique contract.
Israel’s leaders received appreciable worldwide popularity of the nation’s extremely profitable rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations to its inhabitants of 9 million earlier within the yr.
However they have been criticized for failing to supply vaccines to cowl Palestinians dwelling within the West Financial institution and Gaza, which beneath the Geneva Conventions Israel is obliged to do.
Israel argued that it was relieved of these obligations by the Oslo Accords, signed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders within the Nineteen Nineties, which allocate duty for medical care provision to the Palestinian Authority.
Nearly 450,000 Palestinians within the West Financial institution and Gaza have obtained a Covid-19 vaccine up to now, in keeping with PA figures, of whom simply over 270,000 have obtained two doses. The 2 territories have a inhabitants of between 4.5 million and 5 million individuals.