Israel to Sign Deal with AstraZeneca for Coronavirus Vaccine

In recent news, Israel is on the brink of signing a deal with AstraZeneca for its vaccine candidate. The British multinational pharmaceutical company will enter into an agreement with the country to supply them with nearly 10 million doses, enough to inoculate five million citizens. 

The pharmaceutical company joined hands with the University of Oxford to produce its Coronavirus vaccine. On Thursday, they reported that they have assessed data from mid-stage trials and concluded that their vaccine candidate is producing a robust immune response. However, they stated that their research at the moment is limited to older adults. 

Referred to as the AZD1222, AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate utilizes a chimpanzee viral vector that is replication-deficient. The vector has been based on a weakened version of adenovirus, a common cold virus, which is known for causing infections in chimpanzees. The company explains that the virus also consists of genetic material belonging to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Once the vaccine is administered, surface protein is produced. This protein primes the immune system and strengthens it to battle coronavirus if it attacks the body once again. SARS-CoV-2 is a scientific name that has been given to the novel coronavirus. 

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, addressed the citizens of the country to give them the good news. He stated that this is just another one of many achievements for Israel in these bleak and uncertain times. He went on to explain that he has decided on a simple policy for vaccinating the citizens of the country. Those who want to get vaccinated will be granted an opportunity to receive it. Thus, the Prime Minister promised that he, along with relevant authorities, is trying to secure as many vaccines as possible from whatever sources available. 

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Health Ministry issued a joint statement to provide further insight into the procurement of multiple vaccines. The statement said that if the vaccine was successful, the country will receive it as part of AstraZeneca’s not-for-profit program. 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the company is utilizing all its sales proceeds from vaccines to cover production and distribution costs exclusively. Once the agreement is signed, it will deem AstraZeneca as the one company to have sold the greatest amount of vaccines in the country.

Just earlier, Israel entered into contractual agreements with Pfizer to receive at least eight million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. It recently completed Phase III of its human trials and proved to be more than 90% effective. 

On the other hand, the country has entered into contracts with Moderna Inc. for its vaccine candidate as well. However, the number of doses has not been disclosed. Arcturus will also be delivering four million doses of its vaccine candidate to Israel. 

The initial supply of vaccines is said to arrive in the country in the first half of next year. But, this timeline has yet to be approved by the United States, Europe, and Israel as well.