After Pfizer announces 90% effectiveness of its clinical trial, Israel asks the U.S. government for doses of the vaccine once it’s approved by the FDA.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Israel congratulated the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Monday for its coronavirus vaccine results, which show 90% effectiveness in the first large vaccine clinical trial for the virus
Israel also requested that the United reserve for it some of the 600 million vaccine doses being manufactured.
“I welcome Pfizer’s announcement of the success of the 90% corona vaccine trials,” said Minister of Finance Israel Katz. “If the U.S. FDA [Food and Drug Administration] gives the required approval, this is a dramatic turning point in the fight against the corona plague, and the world will begin to tread the path of getting out of the crisis.”
Katz said he made a request during a meeting of Israel-US Joint Economic Committee being held this week with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“I again requested Mnuchin’s assistance in supplying the vaccine to Israel in parallel with [Pfizer’s] supply to the U.S.,” Katz said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Pfizer announcement was better than seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think that train is already exiting the tunnel,” Netanyahu said. “Today is a very important day in the global struggle against the coronavirus.”
“One thing is clear. Not long from today, it will not be years but months, there will be vaccines that will be available for the population of the world. My goal at the moment is to do one thing – bring vaccines to you, citizens of Israel, and we will do so,” the prime minister said.
Pfizer and its German partner in the vaccine, BioNTech, announced that in a clinical trial conducted in six countries and in 39 from the United States, the vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in the 43,358 people who participated in the trial – only 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were found in trial participants.
Pfizer said they are continuing to collect data and monitor the participants. The company plans to apply to the FDA in the third week of November for Emergency Use Authorization, which allows use of a medicine without having to go through additional stages of safety testing.
Pfizer and BioNTech have an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide up to 600 million doses of their vaccine for $1.95 billion. The companies said that they could manufacture 50 million doses of the vaccine this year and 1.3 billion doses in 2021, The Verge reported.
CNN health commentator Dr. Sanjay Gupta tweeted Monday that he spoke with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and cautioned that while it is “very promising to hear [the vaccine is] 90% effective, … questions remain, such as how well the vaccine will protect against serious disease versus infection, overall safety data and how long immunity lasts.”
Bourla told Gupta that “the vaccine will be available for free to all American citizens.”
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