Late in 2020 more than ten million doses of vaccine (rumoured to cost double EU market rates) were ordered with the laudable intent to vaccinate all adults by May 2021. When it was learned in February that the Pfizer vaccine would require two injections, a further 25million doses were obtained for immediate delivery. By mid-March 51% of the adult population had received two doses and the majority of the remainder one dose. An estimated 2m. more doses are required to effect total vaccination of the population aged over sixteen years.
The Pfizer vaccine was entirely used for Jews while the Moderna was applied mainly to those of other faiths or to the secular.
Even so one may speculate as to what happened to the excess of 20m. which had a short forecast warehouse life of six months from the date of delivery. They could hardly be held in reserve even after the declaration made by Defence Minister Benny Gantz on 25 February that a large number of the vaccines had been given to a dozen or so countries (such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Guatemala) as a reward for demonstrating diplomatic support for Israeli policies at the UN .
The announcement made in March that Israel has paid in excess of one billion USD to reserve exclusively an additional 35 million doses of various vaccines to be delivered in September has caused astonishment – not least at the World Health Organisation which has set up the Covax global initiative to ensure equitable access to vaccines by the underprivileged. Even with the recent announcement by Pfizer that its vaccine had been found to be 92% effective the shelf life is assessed at less than one year. The likelihood of a third booster “jab” in the Autumn and the extension of vaccination to 600,000 children aged 12 to 15 only presages an absorption of around 8m. doses.
The purchase of these anti-Covid19 vaccines and their destined use has been shrouded in the greatest secrecy with opposition by the Israeli Finance Department to the cost of USD1,000,000,000 being over-ruled. Can it be that the Israelis know something about the future that the WHO does not ? Or, as seems more likely , is this the prelude to an international use of vaccines as bribes for political ends. Whatever may be the root cause of this speculation, it is vital that the UN and the WHO insist that Israel´s excessive stock should be distributed to the needy.
Praise ye the Lord and speed the Vaccination.
Roberto Knight Cavaleiro, By email