Israel has signed an additional agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech for the supply of millions of vaccines for the year 2022, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday.

The PMO said the signing followed “major efforts” by Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. Israel and Pfizer also agreed on an option to acquire an additional quantity of millions of vaccine doses.

“The supplement that was signed will ensure the continuation of Israel’s ability to deal with the coronavirus in an optimal manner at least until the end of 2022,” the PMO said in a statement.

The signing of the latest agreement had been delayed due to political disagreements between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz over the appointment of a justice minister in the transitional government, which prevented a vote to approve the necessary budget expenditure for the additional vaccines.

The new deal comes after Netanyahu set aside 1.5 billion shekels from the budget surplus, which had been originally earmarked for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, reported Globes.

“I recently spoke with my friends, the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna. There were several obstacles in Israel that we needed to overcome, and we found a way to do so,” added the prime minister.

“If there are no surprises such as coronavirus variants that the vaccines cannot overcome, then we have signed for the acquisition of millions of additional Pfizer vaccines. I very much hope that we will also sign soon with Moderna. This means that soon we will have more than enough vaccines for both adults and children. Israel will again lead the world in the fight against the coronavirus. There will be no more lockdowns; we have exited this,” he said.

According to a report by The Marker, the original plan was to purchase 36 million vaccine doses, but that has now dropped to ten million doses.

JNS

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