Binyamin Netanyahu was ousted from the premiership but he has been continuing the campaign against COVID from his office as opposition leader.
Netanyanhu spoke several times in recent days with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Moderna’s Stéphane Bancel about their vaccines.
The conversations were not coordinated with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Netanyahu was updated about vaccine supply and the outbreak of the delta variant, and concluded that Israel needs millions more doses and to immediately begin administering third shots to adults. While prime minister, Netanyahu secured early distribution of the Pfizer vaccines after personal lobbying with Bourla, which led to an extraordinarily successful inoculation campaign.
“This is the only way to protect the population, to save lives and to keep the economy open in light of the outbreak of the Indian variant,” associates of Netanyahu are quoted as saying.
Netanyahu confirmed the report in a video statement. Earlier in the day, however, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that “there are enough vaccines for everyone, there are orders on the way. This is a privilege that many countries do not have,” he said.
Yesh Atid MK Vladimir Beliak called Netanyahu’s interference “harmful. It’s not enough that during his tenure 6,400 Israelis died, 100,000 businesses were ruined, and hundreds of thousands of students had their school year wiped out. Today, as well, he continues to spread hysteria and panic, and to harass the new government.