Israel is sending 700,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to South Korea in exchange for a future shipment of the jabs, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday.
In a statement, Bennett said Israel will transfer the Pfizer vaccines to South Korea in an effort to inoculate more of the Asian nation’s citizens this month. South Korea will return the same number of doses to Israel as soon as September, he added.
“This is a win-win deal,” Bennett said in his statement. The agreement will “reduce the holes” in the vaccine’s availability.
Bennett said the agreement, which he personally negotiated with Pfizer CEO Albert Burla, is the first of its kind between Israel and another country. The Israeli vaccines still need to be tested after their arrival in South Korea, he added.
The deal comes a few weeks after the Palestinian Authority, which has limited autonomy over areas of the occupied West Bank, called off a deal to receive 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from Israel. The Palestinians contended that the vaccines were too close to expiring and didn’t meet their standards.
The South Korean government had no immediate comment.