Israel strikes Pfizer deal for new vaccine batch

Israel’s prime minister says the country has struck a deal with Pfizer to receive a fresh batch of coronavirus vaccines in August to help with its drive to vaccinate teenagers.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting that the agreement to advance delivery of new vaccines to August 1 to “ensure from this moment a continuous supply of vaccines in the state of Israel.” Bennett said that the country had vaccinated over 200,000 people in recent weeks.

Many of them were teenagers. The country is trying to halt a fresh outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant. Children under age 12 aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine.

Israel has vaccinated over 61 % of its 9.3 million citizens with at least one dose, and almost 56 % with two doses, the vast majority with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The Health Ministry has recorded a steady climb in new infections in recent weeks, most of them among unvaccinated young children. Most new infections have been mild cases of coronavirus.

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