The Palestinian government canceled a deal on Friday to receive coronavirus vaccine doses from Israel because the doses appeared to have expired and did not meet the technical criteria of the Health Ministry. 

After examination of “the first batch of the Pfizer vaccines … it was found that they don’t conform to the specifications contained in the agreement,” said government spokesperson Ibrahim Melhem at a news conference. “Accordingly, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh instructed the Minister of Health to cancel the agreement.”

Israel sent the first batch of 90,000 doses of 1 million earlier Friday to the Palestinian Authority under a deal in which the Palestinian Authority would give back the doses to Israel from its purchased quantity from Pfizer scheduled to be received in September or October.

In a statement to the official WAFA news agency, Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said the government contracted with Pfizer to purchase 4 million doses but the company would not be able to start delivering before October or November.

Al-Kaila added that to meet the urgent need, Pfizer suggested that the Palestinian Authority takes excess stock of doses from Israel.

Melhem added that the government would wait for the delivery directly from Pfizer in batches as agreed between the Palestinian Authority and the company.

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