Israel Plans to Buy Millions of Vaccine Doses for Future Use

Israel plans to buy millions of additional doses of coronavirus vaccine that may be used once its initial inoculation drive is complete, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

While the country has enough to finish vaccinating residents over the age of 16 under its current plan, it is seeking to buy enough doses to inoculate children aged 12 to 16 pending successful completion of clinical trials and approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the ministry said.

It also wants to buy enough doses to be able to administer booster shots, should they be needed, as well as purchasing future vaccines that are able overcome new variants of the virus.

Israel is leading the world in vaccination against Covid-19 after beginning its campaign in December. More than half its population of 9.3 million people is fully inoculated.

The ministry said it was responding to incorrect information reported by media concerning the amount of vaccine doses held by Israel. It didn’t give further details.

According to a Haaretz report on Monday, the ministry has asked the cabinet to approve a budget of 3.5 billion shekels ($1.05 billion) to purchase 30 million more doses. This supply would be in addition to the 25 million doses already purchased by the country at a cost of 2 billion shekels and expected to arrive later this year, bringing the total for 2021-2022 to 60 million doses, according to the report.

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