Dose, Benjamin Netanyahu, Pfizer, Medical Health, Israel

Dose, Benjamin Netanyahu

Stalled Pfizer deal clouds Israel's hopes of swift herd immunity

Stalled Pfizer deal clouds Israel's hopes of swift herd immunity

13/4/2021 11:25:00 PM

Stalled Pfizer deal clouds Israel 's hopes of swift herd immunity

A bid to secure more Pfizer /BioNTech doses for Israel 's world-beating vaccination drive has become mired in political squabbles, just as its ...

WorldVials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are pictured in a vaccination centre in Geneva, Switzerland, on Feb 3, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)14 Apr 2021 03:55AMShare this contentBookmarkJERUSALEM: A bid to secure more Pfizer-BioNTech doses for Israel's world-beating vaccination drive has become mired in political squabbles, just as its leaders saw the coveted prize of"herd immunity" as within reach.

Sengkang General Hospital nurse prelim. positive for India variant; sole unlinked local case Jewel Changi Airport, Terminals 1 and 3 to be closed to public as COVID-19 testing continues Singapore calls for de-escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza

Although more than half the population has been inoculated, Israel may not be able to keep up the momentum of the roll out.AdvertisementAdvertisementParalysed by repeated elections and political infighting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's caretaker government has been unable to push through a deal for additional doses.

A source familiar with the issue told Reuters that the new deal is for around 2 million doses, following the 10 million or so already delivered. Israel and Pfizer have not disclosed the exact number of doses delivered so far.Some of the additional ampoules have already been shipped to Israel but have not been paid for because feuding ministers won't convene to approve the payment and officials are at odds over the contract. Pfizer has halted the rest of the shipments until it is paid. headtopics.com

This has led to finger-pointing among the country's political leadership, as Netanyahu tries to put together a ruling coalition following Israel's fourth election in two years.AdvertisementAdvertisementParticularly sensitive is the fact that some of the stalled doses are earmarked for children.

Israel has a relatively young population - a third of the country is under 16 - and some experts say that it can't reach herd immunity without protecting them.Herd immunity refers to a situation where enough people in a population have immunity to an infection to be able to effectively stop that disease from spreading.

"If children will be able to get vaccinated that will probably bring us to herd immunity," said Nadav Davidovitch, an epidemiologist and public health expert at Ben-Gurion University.AdvertisementHe said Israel should ensure there were enough vaccines for children, but added:"I don't think there's cause for alarm."

In addition to Pfizer, Israel has secured millions more doses from Moderna and has reached an understanding with AstraZeneca over vaccine supplies.DWINDLING TURNOUTWith more than half the 9.3 million population fully inoculated, Israel's economy is largely open and COVID-19 cases are falling. But so is the vaccination turnout rate. headtopics.com

Singapore Red Cross raises more than S$3.2 million in donations to help India fight COVID-19 Man died rescuing dogs after PMD left charging caught fire; coroner rules death unfortunate misadventure Indonesia study finds China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine effective in medical staff

Israel began vaccinating in late December and quickly reached more than 100,000 people daily. In the last month the numbers have steadily dropped to around 20,000 daily.Though the slowdown was expected as more people got the shot, health officials had expected a higher uptake by younger generations.

Among people in higher risk groups the turnout has been particularly high. Around 90 per cent of over-50-year-olds have received at least one of two shots.But the lower the age group, the lower the turnout. It ranges from 74 per cent among 20 to 29-year-olds taking at least one jab to 56 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds, according to health ministry data.

"Younger people think the pandemic is behind us, they won't get infected and if they do, it will be a light illness," Hezi Levi, director-general of Israel's health ministry, told reporters on Thursday.Israel's goal was to complete vaccination of over-16-year-olds by the end of May, around when health ministry officials said they expected to start vaccinating some 900,000 12 to 15-year-olds, pending FDA approval.

"There's still some unused supply set for adults so if tomorrow morning we have to start vaccinating children we will have enough only for the campaign's start," Israel's coronavirus czar, Nachman Ash, told Israel's Army Radio on Wednesday. headtopics.com

BOOSTERSSharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health at the ministry, said the halted shipment could already be affecting inoculations of coronavirus-recovered adults who get one shot.Concerned that global"vaccine nationalism" could squeeze Israel out of future doses, the health ministry also wants the additional doses in place, should people need booster shots to stay protected.

Last month, the EU changed its vaccine export control mechanism so it can now block exports to countries that have a higher vaccination rate than the EU. Israel falls into that category."Agreements are based on our production forecasts and the projected inventory, so governments can be confident we can meet our commitments while not impacting the agreed supply to other countries," a spokesman for Pfizer said in an email to Reuters.

Maldives bans South Asia travellers as COVID-19 cases soar Nissan-backed self-driving startup WeRide raises new funds, puts value at US$3.3 billion Anytime Fitness in Choa Chu Kang, Haidilao in VivoCity visited by COVID-19 cases during infectious period

He also said the company was prepared to supply Europe with hundreds of millions of vaccines in 2022 and 2023.Netanyahu has said he wanted to buy 36 million doses."There is now a line from here to Timbuktu and beyond of countries that want to finalise contracts and we are delaying irresponsibly. We must procure immediately and this does not cost much," Israel's prime minister said on Apr 5.

POLITICS AND PANDEMICBut Netanyahu has locked horns with his defence minister and political rival Benny Gantz.Gantz refuses to approve procurement before Netanyahu approves the appointment of an Israeli justice minister from Gantz's party. Netanyahu is currently on trial accused of corruption. He denies all wrongdoing.

The finance ministry is also at odds with the health ministry on how many vaccines to buy.The bickering is less over whether to secure vaccines for children and more about the cost-benefit analysis of securing booster shots.Scientists still have not determined whether such booster shots will be necessary, and whether vaccines will have to be altered to provide protection against coronavirus variants.

"We have to have a reasonable model," said an Israeli source close to government discussions about the Pfizer deal. Read more: CNA »

Singapore sees ‘several important lessons’ from Tan Tock Seng Hospital COVID-19 cluster

SINGAPORE: Singapore has learnt 'several important lessons' from the COVID-19 cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), among them - that the ...

How about Moderna vaccines?

Israel examining heart inflammation cases in people who received Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Israel 's Health Ministry said on Sunday it is examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer 's COVID-19 ...

US authorises Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15

Pfizer-BioNTech jab confirmed to protect 95% in largest study yetInclusive new variant that shows 40 transmission in sg? So what wrong with our vaccine? With such a high protection against infection...we still have non an insignificant infection...is this because the vaccine was not prepared properly? As Pfizer jab need premixed with saline?

EU agrees to potentially buy 1.8 billion doses of Pfizer-BioNTech jabBRUSSELS: The European Union cemented its support for Pfizer -BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology on Saturday (May 8) by agreeing to ...

US authorises Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15US regulators on Monday (May 10) authorised Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12, widening the country's ...

Canada authorises Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15TORONTO: Canada is authorising the use of Pfizer 's COVID-19 vaccine for use in children from the ages of 12 to 15, the first dose to be allowed ...