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Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila administers a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a woman during a vaccination campaign in Ramallah on March 21, 2021. Photo: Sababa/Xinhua via Getty

The Palestinian Authority called off the COVID vaccine deal with the new Israeli government after determining the doses were too close to their expiration date, Reuters reports.

The latest: Israel had agreed to transfer 1.2 million doses of Pfizer to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for the fresh Pfizer shipment Palestinians were expected to receive in October. But on Friday Palestinian officials said the doses from Israel were set to expire soon and did not meet the necessary standards.

What they're saying: "After the technical teams in the ministry of health examined the first batch of the Pfizer vaccines that were received this evening from Israel, it became clear that the 90,000 doses received do not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement," PA spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said during a joint press conference with PA Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, per Reuters.

  • "Accordingly Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh instructed the minister of health to cancel the agreement with the Israeli side on exchanging the vaccine and returning the quantity that was received today to Israel."

Why it matters: Negotiations on the deal began during then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's term but were expedited by the new government, Israeli health officials say.

  • Israeli officials had said the agreement would allow the Palestinians to get the vaccines they urgently need three months ahead of time. Israel didn’t need the vaccines anymore because the majority of the population has already been vaccinated.
  • As part of the agreement, the Palestinian Authority would've distributed the vaccines in the occupied West Bank, with a first shipment of more than 100,000 doses transferred on Friday and the rest next week.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

Go deeper

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Biden to get booster shot on camera

Photo: Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will receive his COVID booster shot on camera once it's fully approved for Americans ages 65 and older, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: A federal advisory panel unanimously voted last week to recommend that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorize a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine for people over the age of 65 and those at higher risk of infection.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Biden to get booster shot on camera — Pfizer vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The booster vaccine discussion is far from over.
  2. Health: Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years — U.S. death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities — Chicago has highest case rates in city worker neighborhoods.
  3. Politics: Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home — Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive — Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers.
  4. Education: D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 20, 2021 - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.