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Pfizer suspends Covid-19 vaccine shipments after 'banana republic' Israel fails to pay Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Pfizer suspends Covid-19 vaccine shipments after 'banana republic' Israel fails to pay

Israeli Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2021

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Pfizer officials slammed Israel as a 'banana republic', voicing concern that the country's government-in-transition may fail to pay up.
A shipment of coronavirus vaccines to Israel has been halted after the Israeli government failed to pay the manufacturing company for the last 2.5 million jabs, media reported on Monday.

Pfizer officials slammed Israel as a "banana republic", according to Army Radio, voicing concern that the country's government-in-transition may fail to pay up.

The officials also expressed that an "organised" state would pay the bill adding that the company does not want to be taken advantage of, according to a Jerusalem Post report.

On Sunday, a shipment of 700,000 Covid-19 vaccines to Israel was halted, local reports said.

Tel Aviv had paid for the first 10 million jabs, but started to run short within the first year of its vaccination campaign. Pfizer-BioNTech then agreed to send additional doses.

Israel has already given the two recommended shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than half of its 9.3 million residents. It boasted about being the world's leading pace per capita.

However, Israel came under harsh criticism for refusing to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has also failed to provide vaccines to Gaza, the coastal Palestinian enclave that is under tight Israeli blockade.

Gaza has seen a recent spike in Covid-19 cases where 65,500 people have been infected and 610 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

In the West Bank, more than 175,000 people have been infected and 2,004 deaths have been recorded.

The Palestinian health ministry announced last month that only 69,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had received one vaccine jab.

By contrast, more than half of Israel's roughly 9.3 million residents have been inoculated with two Pfizer-BioNTech shots.

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