Israel struggles to find a solution for expiring Pfizer vaccines

July 2, 2021

Israel has 1.4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccines set to expire on July 30, and has so far been unsuccessful in finding a solution.

The expiration date means that if Israelis don't get their first shot before July 9, there will not be unexpired vaccines for their second dose three weeks later.

According to Israeli news reports, Pfizer has reportedly rejected the Israeli government's request to extend the expiration date on the vaccines, citing an inability to guarantee safety beyond the July 30 date.

Israel also attempted to broker a COVID-19 vaccine swap deal with the United Kingdom, whereby Israel would ship its current Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine stock to the UK in exchange for an equivalent number of vaccines that the UK is slated to receive from Pfizer in September. The deal looked like a go — and then Israeli officials said technical problems had scrapped the deal.

The World Health Organization has advised countries not to throw away any expired COVID-19 doses pending further research into whether they could be viable for longer.