The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are said to be worth 6 million shekels ($ 1.8 million).
According to the network, which said Pfizer refused to extend the expiration date, Israel had never thrown out such a high number of vaccines during the pandemic.
“The State of Israel manages its stock of vaccines while paying attention to the expiration date of the product,” replied the Ministry of Health.
“The state has signed confidential agreements and cannot reveal the exact quantity of vaccines,” he added.
Earlier this month, Israel shipped some 700,000 soon-to-expire doses to South Korea, as part of a deal that will see Seoul send new vaccines in exchange later this year.
An Israeli woman receives a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central city of Ramat Hasharon on July 30, 2021 (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)
The expiration of the doses came a day after Israel began vaccinating people over 60 with a third dose of the vaccine amid a surge in infections, with the number of severe cases exceeding 200 for the first time on Saturday. times since mid-April.
“I call on everyone in this age group to get vaccinated,” Department of Health director general Nachman Ash said on Saturday.
He urged Israelis not to undergo serological tests to check their level of anti-coronavirus antibodies before deciding to get vaccinated.
“There is no need for that. A test like this can be confusing, ”he said.
He also called on those who are not fully vaccinated or have not yet received a vaccine to do so.
“The vaccine is the most effective tool in our war on the pandemic and in lowering the morbidity figures,” Ash said.
Meanwhile, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy has said he and his wife Norit will receive their third dose on Sunday.
“I call on Israelis who can get vaccinated and meet the criteria set by the Ministry of Health to get vaccinated. The vaccine saves lives, prevents severe morbidity and is the only way for us to continue to lead routine lives, ”Levy, 71, said in a statement.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – who, at 49, is too young for a third dose – on Friday asked Levy and Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut to receive booster shots, after President Isaac Herzog and his wife did.
Also on Friday, Bennett told health officials that the government’s goal is to vaccinate 1.5 million Israelis over the age of 60 over the next eight days.
In an interview with Channel 12 on Saturday, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz defended Israel’s decision to become the first country to approve third vaccines for the elderly rather than wait for US regulators, as he said. did before he started using coronavirus vaccines last year.
“Any wait or delay in making a decision would cost lives. More people would develop severe morbidity or die, ”he said.
Horowitz, who at 56 is too young to receive a third dose, said his parents will receive booster shots.
He was also asked about the possibility of the government imposing further restrictions to stem the increase in cases.
“My policy is a balanced policy,” he said, stressing that his aim was to balance the fight against the virus by allowing Israelis to work and go to school. “I do not want confinement and I will abstain [from] containment at all costs. There were terrible consequences. “
Ash said on Friday that no additional COVID restrictions were planned to be implemented in the immediate future and that “the vaccine is our solution to come out of the pandemic, so it is important that everyone who can go to get vaccinated ”.