Israel Paid Nearly $800 Million for COVID Vaccines, and Expects the Final Cost Will Be Double

With Israel's vaccination drive being a success story, Israel is expected to invest an additional 2.5 billion shekels to buy more COVID vaccines, Health Ministry official tells lawmakers

Hagai Amit
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An Israeli medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus, two months ago.
An Israeli medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus, two months ago. Credit: AMIR COHEN / REUTERS
Hagai Amit

Israel has so far spent $787,766,720 (2.6 billion shekels) in the deals it reached with various pharmaceuticals to purchase coronavirus vaccines, according to figures presented on Tuesday in a parliamentary meeting.

This sum was used to buy vaccines from U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca, though Israel is not administering the latter's vaccines at the moment.

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It remains unknown whether Israel bought Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.  

Speaking at the Knesset's Finance Committee, Health Ministry official Matan Mor estimated that Israel would invest an additional amount of 2.5 billion shekels to buy more vaccines. 

Israel's vaccination drive is continuing apace, with more than half of the population inoculated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 46.1 percent of the population receiving their second jab, according to data released by the Health Ministry. 

According to the latest figures from Tuesday, Israel has inoculated over 5.2 million people (55.9 percent of the population), with more than 100,000 people receiving a jab on Sunday. Of the overall figure, nearly 4.3 million people (46.1 percent of the population) have received the second dose of the vaccine.

A study carried out by HMO Clalit shows that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech provides very high protection against symptomatic illness, severe illness and death, closely approaching the level of protection the companies announced from their Phase III clinical trial. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rolled out in Israel is 98.9 percent effective in preventing death two weeks after the second dose, Israeli data shows. More data analysis from Israel shows a person fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer's inoculation has a one in 1,000 chance of contracting the disease.

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