Israel in Advanced Talks to Purchase Millions of Doses of Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine; ‘I See Light at End of Tunnel,’ Netanyahu Says
Israel is reportedly in talks to purchase the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Monday, “I see light at the end of the tunnel. I think that train is already exiting the tunnel.”
The news came after Pfizer announced earlier in the day that its vaccine had shown 90% effectiveness in clinical trials.
The company said it would likely receive emergency approval from the US to manufacture and distribute the vaccine within the month.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the accomplishment “a great day for science and humanity.”
Israeli news site N12 reported that the Israeli government was in advanced negotiations with Pfizer to acquire the vaccine.
Finance Minister Yisrael Katz spoke on Monday with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and asked for an allocation of five million doses of the vaccine for Israeli use.
However, Israel is unlikely to be the among the first countries to receive the drug, with priority being given to countries with larger populations.
In an address on Monday evening, Netanyahu said it was “a very important day in the global fight against the coronavirus.”
“One thing is clear,” he stated. “Not long from today, it will not be years but months, there will be vaccines that will be available for the population of the world. My goal at the moment is to do one thing — bring vaccines to you, citizens of Israel, and we will do so.”
“This means that the end is in sight,” Netanyahu stated. “I said a few days ago that I see light at the end of the tunnel. I think that train is already exiting the tunnel.”
Despite the good news, Netanyahu urged Israelis to continue taking proper cautions against infection, saying, “Let us not exact prices that are too high vis-à-vis human lives and your health. We can cooperate to maintain health and the economy until the vaccines arrive — and they will.”
There have been over 300,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Israel since the outbreak of the pandemic early this year, with nearly 2,700 deaths.
Watch Netanyahu’s remarks below:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Today is a very important day in the global fight against the coronavirus. @Pfizer announced that a vaccine it is developing has an efficacy of 90%. " pic.twitter.com/ALV9MFBXwW
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 9, 2020