Israel negotiating to purchase British coronavirus vaccine

AstraZeneca vaccine developed with Oxford University has already been sold to several countries.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israel is negotiating to buy a British coronavirus vaccine as the government seeks to widen its range of suppliers, Globes reported Sunday.

Talks are underway with the British company AstraZeneca, which for the past half year has been developing a coronavirus vaccine in cooperation with Oxford University. The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently undergoing a phase three trial that is taking place in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, India and the U.S.

The deal is in addition to the major contract signed last week for eight million of doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced by the American company Pfizer.

Although the trial has been halted several times due to suspicions of side effects in several of the volunteers, the testing continues, and over the past few months AstraZeneca has signed contracts to provide the vaccine to different customers.

The company has already signed contracts to provide the UK with 100 million doses, 300 million doses for the U.S. and 400 million doses to European Union member states.

In the U.S., AstraZeneca said it recruited 30,000 people to participate in its vaccine testing.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had signed a contract with Pfizer for 8 million doses and expects to start inoculating Israelis in January. Previously, he made a deal to obtain a vaccine produced by another American company, Moderna.

Netanyahu said that Israel is pursuing contracts around the globe to obtain coronavirus vaccines. The homegrown Israeli vaccine started the phase 3 trial only last week, and results are not expected for several months.

The prime minister said that given the fierce international competition to obtain limited quantities of the new vaccines, he wants supply agreements with every company that produces a successful coronavirus vaccine so that there will be enough to inoculate Israel’s 9.2 million citizens.

The AstraZeneca vaccine uses a technology different from that of Pfizer, and the company said it safe, Globes reported.