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Concerns raised over privacy and ethics of Israel-Pfizer vaccine deal

CONCERNS have been raised over the ethics of a data-sharing deal between Israel and pharmaceutical company Pfizer in the latest controversy to hit its vaccine roll-out.

Israel’s denial of vaccinations to Palestinians living under military occupation in the West Bank has been condemned as a breach of the Geneva conventions.

But now authorities are also under fire for a deal by which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to share swathes of medical data with Pfizer in return for faster delivery of vaccine doses.

Supporters of the deal say a meticulous study of Israel’s vaccination success will benefit all countries.

But the exact quid pro quo between Israel and Pfizer is unclear, even after a redacted version of the agreement  was published by the Israeli Health Ministry on Sunday. 

Privacy Israel said the handling and security of private data was an issue, while the World Health Organisation has called on drug producers and wealthy countries to “stop making bilateral deals” that undermine efforts to provide the vaccine to citizens of poorer nations.

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