TEL AVIV—The Palestinian Authority on Friday pulled out of a swap of Pfizer -BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine with Israel, citing concerns about the quality of an initial shipment.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said 90,000 doses Israel had sent of the soon-to-expire Pfizer vaccine would be returned. The shipment from Israel was to be the first of the up to 1.4 million doses that the Palestinian Authority would receive. In return, the Palestinians would ship an identical quantity to the Israeli government later in the year, after receiving a new shipment from Pfizer.
The Palestinian Authority scrapped the deal after its technical experts examined the batch and concluded the doses were too close to expiration. Mr. Shtayyeh said his government would wait for the Pfizer shipment later in the year.
“It became clear to us they did not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement,” a spokesman for the prime minister said in a statement.
Israeli officials didn’t immediately comment on the cancellation of the deal.