Coronavirus Czar 'Concerned' That Israel Doesn't Yet Have Deal for Third Vaccine Doses

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Haaretz
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Vaccines in a school in Be'er Sheva, March
Vaccines in a school in Be'er Sheva, MarchCredit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
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Haaretz

Israel does not have enough coronavirus vaccines to provide its population with a third dose, coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash said Friday, adding this has prompted concerns among the health establishment. 

"We have enough doses to complete the first vaccine operation – that is, two doses per citizen," Ash told Army Radio. "This is something that concerns us," he added. 

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However, Ash said he believes that deals will be struck with Moderna and Pfizer "soon." 

"We also want to guarantee that there will be doses, even if there is an upgraded vaccine for new variants - that we will have this vaccine," he said. 

Ash said that he believes that agreements will soon be signed with Pfizer and Moderna to secure an additional supply of vaccines. He also specifically referred to talks with Pfizer: "The Health Ministry is in contact with Pfizer regarding the details of the agreement, and the budget is all that remains to be closed. I hope that it will be sealed soon."

On Thursday, CNBC reported that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla estimated that the vaccine was effective for one year from receiving the second dose, and said that an annual top-up might be required. 

Earlier this month, Pfizer also said that its vaccine was 91 percent effective in preventing the disease even six months after receiving the second dose.

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