Austrian, Danish Leaders to Arrive in Israel for Vaccine Production Talks
i24 News – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen are expected to land in Israel Thursday to participate in a summit dedicated to expanding cooperation on the COVID-19 health crisis.
The leaders will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and hold talks regarding coronavirus inoculation strategies and the possibility of manufacturing vaccines in the future.
Kurz, anxious to “no longer depend solely” on the European Union, announced on Tuesday a possible cooperation agreement with Denmark and the Jewish state for the development of second-generation vaccines.
The visit to Israel by the European leaders also looks to establish a partnership in production and vaccine research “in the years to come.”
“We agreed in the summer that vaccines from the EU for the member states would be procured in good time and approved quickly,” Kurz told German news site Bild.
“Although this approach was fundamentally correct, the [European Medicines Agency] is too slow in approving vaccines and there are delivery bottlenecks from pharmaceutical companies.”
Frederiksen, for her part, expressed the hope of seeing a “long-term collaboration” to “lay the foundations for a sustainable production strategy.”
“We may well be in a situation where we not only have to vaccinate but also revaccinate, maybe once a year. … That’s why we need to boost vaccine production sharply,” Frederiksen said.
The move by the two EU member states comes amid anger over delays in vaccine orders, approval, and distribution that have left the 27-member bloc far behind Israel and the UK.