JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel will be one of the first countries to receive Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, which initial reports show to be 94.5% effective against the virus.
Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer for Israel, told Israeli media on Monday that the vaccine is “around the corner” and will likely be arriving in the Jewish State in early 2021.
“I cannot give an exact number but I can guarantee that we are making every effort to supply the vaccines to Israel, as we promised,” Zaks said. “Israel is among the first group of countries that signed with us. We will fulfill our side of the agreement.”
Israeli media reported that the country has already purchased 1 – 2 million doses of the vaccine.
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On Monday, Moderna became the second company in the US to announce its vaccine candidate is highly effective against the coronavirus.
“That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives,” Dr. Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s president, told The Associated Press.
Last week, Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech also announced its vaccine candidate is 90% effective in preventing the virus.
Days after the announcement, Israel signed a deal to bring Pfizer’s vaccine to the country as early as January.
“My goal is to bring as many vaccines as possible, from as many sources as possible, to as many citizens as possible – and as soon as possible,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Both Moderna and Pfizer will continue testing their vaccines. They are seeking to gain emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year.
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