The COVID Blog
January 22, 2021
JERUSALEM — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said two weeks ago that Pfizer was using the Israeli population as a testing ground for its mRNA shots. Now a nonpartisan research group is echoing those sentiments.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights said that Pfizer is conducting unauthorized human experiments in Israel, according to Israel National News. The Helsinki Committee, according to its website, is a “non-governmental organization that promotes human rights and strengthens the rule of law and democracy in all countries of Europe, including the Central Asian countries participating in the OSCE.”
The Supreme Helsinki Commission supervises human trials in Israel. It accused Pfizer and the Israeli government of conducting a vaccine campaign that amounts to clinical research. The Committee said it did not authorize the trials. But after the report went public, the commission backtracked. Helsinki Committee Chairman Professor Eitan Friedman denied the report the next day. He said the committee continues to recommend vaccines and that the Pfizer agreement is not a clinical trial.
Meanwhile Dr. Tehila Schwartz-Altshuler, senior attorney for the Israel Democracy Institute, also voiced concerns. She told Calcalist, “Anyone who might claim this is not a clinical study is simply a liar. This is the most extensive study of human beings in the 21st century.”
Pfizer and Israel Ministry of Health make the deal
COVID Legal USA obtained a copy of the 20-page agreement between the U.S.-based pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and the Israel Ministry of Health. The agreement clearly states that Pfizer will collect data that includes, “Confirmed COVID-19 cases/week, COVID-19 hospitalizations/week, COVID-19 severe/critical cases/week; Confirmed COVID-19 ventilator use/week; Confirmed COVID-19 deaths/week and Symptomatic cases/week.” The same section says Pfizer will also collect data on the number of vaccines given by age and other demographics.
Israel financial newspaper Globes reported that “Israel will act as a large world testing laboratory, with the results from this huge research serving to set vaccination strategies in the rest of the world and also assisting the pharmaceutical companies in continuing R&D for coronavirus vaccinations and other treatments.” The newspaper also reported on December 15 that Israel was just entering Phase II of Pfizer clinical trials for the mRNA shots.
Vaccines in Israel
Haaretz reported that 2.15 million Israelis have received at least the first of two Pfizer shots as of January 19. That same report said over 12,000 Israelis tested positive for COVID-19 after the first shot. At least four Israelis have died and 13 developed Bell’s Palsy after getting the shots.
“Israel is becoming the experimental field, not to mention the backyard for the whole world,” Schwartz-Altshuler said. “It may be a beautiful and altruistic thing, but this should have been shared with the citizens of Israel.”
We’ll continue following this story as it develops further.