PM eyes turning Israel into ‘global center in the fight against COVID-19’ coronavirus.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he was negotiating with key COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine manufacturers on setting up production in Israel.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12, Netanyahu said talks were underway with Moderna and Pfizer.
“I am negotiating with them to build two factories in Israel – making us a global center in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
“The Moderna complex will be a center for filling vaccine vials, while Pfizer’s will work as a research and development site for the fight against future viruses,” he said.
The PM also revealed he was in talks on Israel procuring tens of millions of vaccine doses for the coming years as the inoculation campaign in the country continues.
He also urged Israelis aged 50 and more to take the jab, stressing that this age group accounted for most serious cases and fatalities.
Netanyahu warned that the success of the vaccination effort in this group will largely determine whether the current lockdown will be Israel’s last.
Israel has so far only administered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to its population, although it has a small stock of the vaccine from the American biotechnology company Moderna.
The country of nine million inhabitants started the release of its third lockdown a week ago and intends to vaccinate its entire population aged over 16 by the end of March.