Netanyahu proposes international vaccine initiative for future pandemics
Israel and several other countries should start an international vaccine corporation to research and manufacture vaccines in future pandemics, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed in a meeting with leaders of six other countries on Monday.
“We will encounter more viruses,” Netanyahu warned. “We must unite forces and start to discuss research, production and supply, first for our countries and then for the rest. We must start planning for the next years.”
Netanyahu presented the proposal in a video conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. This was the sixth meeting of its kind, founded by Kurz to share best practices in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are seven countries… most of us have populations of five to 12 million residents,” Netanyahu said. “I suggest we discuss the creation of an international corporation for research and production. We all have research, science and technological capabilities.”
“To reach a reasonable economic and scientific volume, we must examine possibilities to unite our efforts,” the prime minister added.
Netanyahu said the countries should cooperate to develop their own capabilities in case there is another pandemic, so that they will not be “at the mercy of market forces.” The corporation would be part of the government, not private and not meant for profit.
Netanyahu also discussed how Israel has managed to be the world leader in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, with over 28% of the population receiving at least one dose.
He encouraged the leaders and their health ministers to get vaccinated in order to give the public confidence in the jab.
The prime minister also advised that logistically, the goal should be as many vaccines as possible, as quickly as possible.
“Even though the Pfizer vaccine has two doses, we are moving to finish administer the first dose at the same time as we give the second dose” to those who received the first earlier, Netanyahu explained.