Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer vaccine Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

A shipment of 700,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine scheduled to land in Israel on Sunday will not be arriving at this stage, Galei Zahal reported.

The report's authenticity was confirmed Sunday night by Health Ministry Director General Professor Hezi Levy.

The reason for the delay is that Israel has not yet paid the company for the previous shipment of 1.5 million doses, since the Israeli government has delayed its decision on the matter.

According to the Monday morning report on Galei Zahal, the company is fuming at the State of Israel for not yet paying for the doses, and decided at this stage to cease the shipments until the issue of payment is resolved. The concept of a "banana republic" was also mentioned in the conversations.

The reason for the delay in payments is that the Israeli government has not yet met to pass a budget for the continued purchase of vaccines, due to opposition on the part of Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his Blue and White party.

On Sunday, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) met with Gantz in an attempt to convince Blue and White to allow the matter to be discussed by the government, despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to appoint a permanent justice minister in a temporary government.

Israel expects to need large numbers of vaccines in the near future, when the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with children ages 12-15.

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