International

Israel publishes data-for-vaccines deal with Pfizer

Some 2.1 million Israelis have already received at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine

Israel has published details of a deal to trade data with US pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, in return for a steady supply of its coronavirus vaccine, after concerns were expressed over possible privacy violations.

Under the arrangement, Israel will send weekly updates on the numbers of confirmed cases, hospitalisations, patients in a serious condition and those on a ventilator, as well as the number of vaccinations performed. They will be broken down by age, gender and demographic background, but “no identifiable health information” will be shared.

Some 2.1 million Israelis have received at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine – a greater proportion of its population than any other country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month that he hoped the Pfizer deal would mean Israel became “the first country in the world to emerge from the coronavirus”.

In a separate development, Israel’s coronavirus czar has said people will no longer have to self-isolate after being exposed to someone who tests positive if a week has elapsed since they got the second dose of the vaccine.

Other experts have said not enough information is available to determine whether getting a vaccine will prevent someone from spreading the virus that causes Covid-19 to other people.