Pfizer Reportedly Halts Shipment Of 700,000 COVID Vaccine Doses To Israel After It Fails To Pay

A photo illustration of a syringe and and a bottle reading "Covid-19 Vaccine" next to the Pfizer company logo in Jerusalem on December 10, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

NEW YORK (JTA) – Pfizer halted a shipment of 700,000 COVID vaccine doses to Israel, alleging that the country has not paid for a previous shipment of 2.5 million doses.

The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that the shipment was supposed to arrive this past Sunday but was indefinitely delayed pending payment.

Israel paid for its first 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine soon after they were made available, helping the country earn the world’s highest vaccination rate. But when its supplies began to dwindle in February, Israel secured a deal with Pfizer for additional doses.

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Israel has spent 2.6 billion shekels, or nearly $700 million, on vaccines so far, according to the Post.

The country of over 9 million people has begun to slowly normalize large social events and gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events, with the help of a digital vaccine “passport” system. But close to half the country has still not been vaccinated, including some waiting to see the effects on others.

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