The price tag per person for coronavirus vaccines that Israel has purchased from the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna pharmaceutical companies is $47, the Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday evening.
In total the country will pay out NIS 1 billion ($315 million) to the two manufacturers for their two-shot vaccination products, the station reported, without citing sources.
The government has set a goal to inoculate five million of Israel’s 9.9 million citizens by the end of March.
Pfizer, which is providing the vaccines that Israel is already using for its mass vaccination program, will receive NIS 775 million ($245 million). The bulk of vaccines used for the campaign are expected to come from Pfizer.
Moderna, which began supplying its vaccines to the country last week, will receive NIS 320 million ($101 million).
The sum means the average price for each dose of vaccine from both companies is about $23.50, slightly higher than the amount that Pfizer had initially said the shots would cost, according to the report.
The higher price is because Israel has pushed to buy large numbers of the vaccines and to have them delivered quickly to keep the vaccination drive in high gear.
Vaccine prices reported by the Washington Post and the BBC in December indicate Israel is paying significantly more for the Pfizer vaccine than either the US or the European Union.
The Washington Post reported at the time that the US was paying Pfizer/BioNTech $19.50 per dose while the EU 27-country bloc was paying $14.76. It cited Moderna vaccine prices as $15 per dose for the US and $18 per dose for the EU.
The figures were based on EU prices that were tweeted — and then deleted — by a Belgian government official as well as calculations from Bernstein Research, an analysis and investment firm.
The BBC reported a day earlier that Pfizer was marketing its vaccines to countries at a price range of $10.65 to $21 per dose, while Moderna’s range was $25 to $37 per dose.
Israel was late joining the line for the Pfizer vaccine behind the US, Canada and Japan.
Kan reported that the total price tag of NIS 1 billion [$315 million] is about the same as the cost to the economy for every two days of Israel’s ongoing lockdown, currently scheduled to end next week.
The lockdown, the third the government has ordered since the virus outbreak began early last year, started two weeks ago and then was further tightened at the end of last week.
As the vaccination drive presses on, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting Monday with health officials to discuss exactly what rights will be granted in the so-called green passports to be issued to those who have been fully vaccinated, Kan reported.
The documents, which will begin to be printed next week, will grant holders access to large gatherings and cultural venues.
Health Ministry sources told the broadcaster that the green passport system will have a significant influence on the lockdown exit strategy, with more benefits being granted as the number of vaccinated citizens increases.
The Foreign Ministry has recently been in contact with several countries to explore the possibility that that Israelis carrying a green passport will be exempt from quarantine when visiting those destinations, the station said.
So far Israel has give at least a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 1,854,055 million citizens, the Health Ministry said Tuesday — by far the highest vaccination rate in the world, according to the Our World In Data website.
Netanyahu vowed Sunday that Israel would ramp up its vaccine drive further, to a target of administering 170,000 shots a day, as a new batch of hundreds of thousands of doses of Pfizer’s vaccine touched down at Ben Gurion Airport.
Moderna informed an Israeli shipping firm that it can expect a shipment of up to 480,000 doses of its own COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday or Thursday, Channel 12 reported. A first Moderna shipment of more than 100,000 doses arrived last week.
There are 74,639 active virus patients in the country, according to Health Ministry figures published Tuesday.
Since the start of the virus outbreak 504,269 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the country and there have been 3,704 deaths.
Source: Stuart Winer – TOI