Israel is in advanced talks for procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German biotech partner BioNTech, Globes reported on Monday citing government sources.
Subsequently, Chezy Levy, the director-general of the Health Ministry, confirmed on Army Radio that “we’re in contacts toward signing with Pfizer.”
Earlier in the day, Pfizer disclosed that initial data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, and that the company looks forward to filing an emergency use application with U.S. regulators before the end of this month.
Also on Monday, Israel’s Minister of Finance Yisrael Katz asked U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to assist Israel in obtaining the vaccination as part of the 600 million doses being purchased by the U.S. from Pfizer. The request was made at a meeting during the Israel-U.S. Economic Conference
Katz said, “I welcome the announcement by Pfizer of its successful trial for a coronavirus vaccination, which was 90% effective. If the FDA issues the required approval then we are talking about a dramatic turning point in the fight against coronavirus and the world will begin to be on track to exit the crisis.”
On Sunday, Hadassah Hospital in Yerushalayim announced the signing of an agreement with the Russian government for procurement of the Sputnik 5 vaccine when it becomes available commercially. The deal awaits approval from the Health Ministry.