Pfizer CEO's expected visit to Israel has been canceled after it was found that he hasn't yet received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The head of the company, Albert Bourla and other members of the delegation that was meant to accompany him during his visit to Israel, have not yet received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, reported local media.
However, due to health safety concerns, the visit was postponed for several days. This also posed a logistic challenge due to the upcoming elections in the middle-east country.
In December 2020, Pfizer CEO Bourla said that he hasn't received the vaccine. While explaining the reason he said that it was because he did not want to "cut-in line". He would rather wait until the vaccination begins for people under his age group, Bourla added.
As of now, the head of the US company, which developed a COVID-19 vaccine along with its German partner BioNTech, has received the first dose but the second jab is still pending.
According to reports, a Pfizer spokesperson said: "We continue to be interested in visiting Israel and meeting with decision-makers. The visit to Israel will probably be scheduled toward the end of spring."
Last week, during an interview Bourla referred to Israel as the "world's lab" in terms of COVID-19 vaccine rollout, noting that "they are only using our [Pfizer-BioNTech] vaccine."
When it comes to vaccine efficacy, Bourla was asked whether a person could infect others even after taking the second shot. In response, he said: "It is something that needs to be confirmed, and the real-world data that we are getting from Israel and other studies will help us understand this better."
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is also known as BNT162b2, is an mRNA vaccine. Like other vaccines, this one also can cause some side effects such as pain, redness, swelling, tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.
However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised some people who shout not get the vaccine. As per the federal agency:
- If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the shot.
- If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—after getting the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA vaccines.