ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Makers of failed Israeli vaccine misled the government, wasting $63 million, says ombudsman

Vials of a potential coronavirus vaccine are seen on an assembly line, in a photograph released by the Israel Institute for Biological Research, on October 25, 2020. (Defense Ministry)
Vials of a potential coronavirus vaccine are seen on an assembly line, in a photograph released by the Israel Institute for Biological Research, on October 25, 2020. (Defense Ministry)

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman releases a report saying the initiative to develop an Israeli COVID vaccine “failed” and accusing the Institute for Biological research of misleading officials on its progress and costs, causing a waste of money and resources.

The report says NIS 230 million ($63.5 million) was invested in the project before it was scrapped in July 2022.

“Even if we could accept this in the initial emergency period, we cannot condone conduct that contradicts rules of proper practice after that,” the report says.

Englman sharply criticizes the institute’s former chief, Prof. Shmuel Shapira, including for a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that prompted the premier to authorize the production of the vaccine.

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