German media ask: 'Why is Israel succeeding in vaccinating so much faster than us?'

Answer: PM called Pfizer CEO personally, and paid double the EU per dose.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pfizer injection
Pfizer injection
Flash 90

“World record holder,” reads the headline in the German tabloid Bild. “Why is Israel succeeding in vaccinating so much faster than us?”

The question is all the more compelling due to the fact that the vaccine was developed in the German city of Mainz, by Pfizer, a German pharmaceutical company, with the assistance of German universities and a €150 million federal German government grant.

Bild notes that “one week after the start of vaccination, almost half a million people in Israel have already received their first vaccination dose … By March, 60 percent of the population … compared to Germany – here, this point won’t be reached until late summer.”

Explaining the disparity, Bild cited the German Health Minister, who reported that just 1.3 million doses would be available in Germany by the end of 2020 – “for a population of 83 million people.” Israel, by contrast, “will receive over five million doses of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech by the end of January” for a population of 9 million. Bild also blamed the European Union’s “foot-dragging” for delays in signing contracts for vaccines, and noted that a contract eventually signed between Germany and Pfizer does not even include a specified delivery date.

Bild credited “Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for calling Pfizer’s CEO personally,” and suggested that “money could have played a role.”

That money played a role is actually not a matter of dispute. Earlier this month, a Channel 12 news report revealed that Israel was paying Pfizer around $30 for each coronavirus vaccine dose, double the price paid in the European Union and ten dollars more than the cost of the vaccine in the United States.

Writing in Ulpan Shishi, commentator Amit Segal noted that, “If that’s the price, and due to paying it we received the first doses in the world, then this is a decision that deserves the Israel Prize – for the following simple reason: A week of lockdown, at the lowest estimate, costs three billion shekels.”

Indeed, Bild and other German newspapers noted that while Germany was currently still in its second lockdown, Israel was in its “third and last.”