Coronavirus: Israel seeks to redirect AstraZeneca vaccines

Israel no longer wants AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and is exploring with the company whether a large load on the pipeline could be sent elsewhere, said the Israeli coronavirus commissioner, Prof. Nachman Ash, on Wednesday. Ash also reaffirmed that there is still uncertainty about when a vaccine booster will be needed, the day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis to prepare to be injected again in six months. “We are trying to find the best solution. After all, we don’t want (the vaccines) to get here and have to throw them in the trash, ”Ash told Army Radio, saying that Israel’s needs were being met by other suppliers. In his comments, Ash made no reference to The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to very rare blood clots in Europe. Many countries resumed administration after the European Union’s anti-drug agency said the benefits outweighed the risks. Israel launched a large chain last year when trying to secure doses of vaccine at the height of the pandemic and ordered from several companies. the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, launching one of the fastest launches in the world. COVID-19 infections in Israel have fallen dramatically and the economy has reopened. Israel is also buying COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, which uses similar messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. Ash said that with supplies guaranteed until 2022, Israel no longer required the 10 million doses it agreed to buy from AstraZeneca.

“They can certainly be used elsewhere in the world. We are currently trying to find, together with the company, the best way to do this, “he said.” We believe it would be better if they (the vaccines) did not come to Israel, and we agreed with the company in some kind of way to divert them elsewhere. ”AstraZeneca officials did not immediately comment. About 81% of Israeli citizens or residents over 16 – the age group eligible for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in Israel – received both doses. 167,000 of the 5.2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with supplies from Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the global COVAX vaccine-program sharing and China.Ash also talked about the outline of the upcoming Lag Ba’omer festival, which falls on Thursday of next week. The day is traditionally marked with bonfires and in normal years tens of thousands of people gather at Monte. Meron to attend the party. The commissioner said that only green passport holders – people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered – will be able to attend the festivities at Monte. Meron. “We agreed on a blueprint for reaching Mt. Meron, but we cannot say that there are no risks, ”he told Army Radio.