Palestinians cancel deal for near-expired COVID vaccines from Israel
The Palestinian Authority (PA) cancelled a deal on Friday to receive soon-to-expire COVID-19 vaccines from Israel after an initial Israeli shipment showed an expiration date sooner than had been agreed, the PA health minister said, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.
Israel and the PA announced a vaccine swap deal earlier on Friday that would have seen Israel send up to 1.4 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses to the PA, in exchange for receiving a reciprocal number of doses from the PA later this year.
The doses were due to "expire soon", Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office said in a statement announcing the deal.
"They told us the expiration date was in July or August, which would allow lots of time for use," PA Health Minister Mai Alkaila told reporters later on Friday.
"But (the expiration) turned out to be in June. That's not enough time to use them, so we rejected them," she said.
The PA cancelled the deal over the date issue, a PA spokesman said, and sent the initial shipment of around 90,000 doses back to Israel.
Bennett's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.