Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Covid will likely be a feature of life for many years to come and that mankind will need to learn to live with it, and fight it.
Speaking by video to the Davos World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland, he said that all the indications are that we will need to be vaccinated against Covid once every year, as happens with flu, and Israel is already drawing up long-term procurement agreements, with the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines.
Netanyahu explained that there is serious concern that the current vaccines won't be effective against new mutations and that this was the reason that Israel had closed its borders and halted all commercial flights. "I'm convinced that other countries will follow us because the rate of infection is getting stronger and the number of fatalities is rising due to the new mutations."
Netanyahu added that the secret of Israel's success, in bringing so many vaccine doses to Israel before everybody else, is the coordination between Israel's efficient health system, the four health maintenance organizations (health funds), which compete with each other, as well as Israel's long term digital databanks and highly skilled medical professionals. All of this has provided the pharmaceuticals companies, led by Pfizer, the possibility of checking out the vaccinations in real-time conditions and Israel is happy to donate the statistical information, not personal data he said, in order to help people everywhere cope with the pandemic, and swiftly bring about the opening up of markets and borders, to rehabilitate economies.
Netanyahu dismissed criticism about the cost of the vaccinations and said that the prices will yet go up and every cent that has been invested in them is worth much more, when we can open up the economy due to the vaccinations. Among the data being provided to Pfizer is the rate of antibodies developed by the vaccine, their efficacy, side effects and more.
He called on the pharmaceutical companies to expand their trials and adapt the vaccinations for younger people. Trials so far have only been on people over 16.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 27, 2021
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