Israel denies being ‘laboratory’ for Pfizer vaccine

Israel’s Health Minister Ash denied that the country signed an exclusive agreement and is considered a “laboratory” for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

“There isn’t any monopoly with Pfizer. Israel is studying statistics and the world certainly learns from this, but I don’t use the word ‘lab’. It is true that Pfizer is learning from this. us about the effectiveness of the booster shot, but none of it has been linked to harming the interests of Israeli citizens,” Israel’s Health Minister Nachman Ash said in a statement on September 12.

The Israeli minister’s statement came after Pfizer’s chief scientific officer Philip Dormitzer called the country like a “laboratory” for a Covid-19 vaccine.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we established a relationship with the Israeli Ministry of Health, where they exclusively use the Pfizer vaccine and monitor it closely. So we have an opportunity like a kind of laboratory to have a vaccine efficacy can be seen,” Dormitzer said.

A man receives a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Jerusalem in mid-August. Photo: Reuters.

A man received the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Jerusalem in mid-August. Photo: Reuters.

Dormitzer adds that Israel vaccinated a very high percentage of its population early on, so it is possible to see what is happening in Israel happening in the US a few months later.

Many activists have voiced opposition to Dormitzer’s statement, arguing that the Israeli people “should not agree to participate in the experiment operated by Pfizer in Israel”. However, many people believe that Dormitzer’s statement was misinterpreted and translated in a “sensational” way by the local newspaper.

“Pfizer is aware of a video recording of an interview with one of our scientists who unfortunately omits something important we would like to make clear: We are grateful for the partnership between Pfizer and the Israeli Ministry of Health. This is not a clinical study. This is a data collection collaboration,” Pfizer said in a statement.

Israel is one of the leading countries in Covid-19 vaccination after quickly pre-ordering millions of doses of Pfizer’s vaccine. After completing two vaccinations for the majority of people, Israel from August started to deploy the third dose. As of September 12, more than 2.8 million Israelis have received a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Times of Israel)

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