Israel has agreed to buy eight million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein announced last night. With each person requiring two doses of the vaccine to achieve immunity, the doses will be administered to four million Israelis. The agreement was signed Friday.
Subject to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Israel Ministry of Health approval, the first vaccines should start arriving in January with deliveries throughout 2021. Pfizer announced earlier this week that the vaccine is 90% effective, according to Phase III trials, and the company is expected to apply for FDA approval towards the end of this month.
Edelstein said, "Purchasing the vaccine is huge news for Israel's citizens. The Ministry of Health has been making every effort to buy various vaccines so that its people can be vaccinated. But until that happens we must strictly adhere to instructions and continue with the Ministry of Health's exit strategy from the lockdown. We must not be complacent."
Israel has already signed a deal to buy the vaccine being developed by Moderna but had been foot-dragging in negotiations with Pfizer, which now looks likely to be the first to bring a Covid-19 vaccine to market. To move things along more quickly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla twice on Wednesday.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 13, 2020
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