According to the vaccine swap arrangement, South Korea will return to Israel the same amount of vaccine currently ordered from Pfizer.
South Korea has stated that it will lease 700,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine from Israel this week to speed up immunization in the face of a surge in infections around the capital Seoul.
Yonhap News Agency quoted South Korean government health officials as saying that more than 1,000 cases were reported on Tuesday, the highest number since December, and hundreds more than the 746 cases announced on Monday.
According to the vaccine swap arrangement announced by the two governments on Tuesday, South Korea will return the same amount of vaccines to Israel in September and October, which have already been ordered from Pfizer.
South Korea has quickly distributed the COVID-19 vaccine it has, but under the situation of tight global supply, especially in Asia, it has been difficult to obtain sufficient doses in time.
“This is a win-win deal,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement announcing the deal on Tuesday. “We will work together to defeat the epidemic.”
After an excellent deployment, Israel has made two shots for about 55% of its population, and the turnout rate has stabilized.
Jeong Eun-kyung, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), said the agreement will enable South Korea to speed up its vaccination program, including providing vaccines to employees in some departments that have a lot of contact with other people.
Local authorities will decide who gets vaccinated, but she said, for example, priority can be given to street cleaners, delivery workers and retail employees.
South Korean authorities said last week that they hope to achieve herd immunity before the current November target by vaccinating at least 70% of the population with at least one dose of vaccine, mainly mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer.
Jeong said that if the vaccination campaign goes as planned and South Korea finds that it has an excess dose later this year after sending the agreed dose back to Israel, it will also seek to share its inventory with other countries.
South Korea has been fighting the ongoing small-scale epidemic, which has prompted officials to delay the relaxation of social distancing regulations.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, overall, the country has recorded more than 161,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 2,000 deaths.
Vaccination campaigns in Israel
Soon after approval last year, Israel received a large supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which had previously reached an agreement with the manufacturer to share its impact data.
The deal helped Israel launch one of the fastest vaccination drivers in the world, but it also raised concerns about the expiration of unused stocks.
Palestinian Authority Cancelled last month This transaction will send one million jabs from Israel’s inventory to the occupied West Bank.
PA stated that these doses “are about to expire.” Israel insists that they are “fully effective.”
More than 80% of the Israeli adult population has been fully vaccinated with COVID-19, but cases have risen again, and officials have expressed concern about the surge of Delta variants’ ability to evade vaccine protection and cause mild illness.