Netanyahu: In talks to establish Moderna, Pfizer vaccine plants in Israel

“I am negotiating with them to build two plants in Israel that will turn Israel into an international center in the fight against coronavirus."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines in Israel  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines in Israel
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israel is in talks with the two leading coronavirus vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, to open up plants in Israel, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I am negotiating with them to build two plants in Israel that will turn Israel into an international center in the fight against coronavirus,” he told Channel 12 Monday night, adding that he had spoken to the CEOs of both companies.
The Moderna factory would focus on “filling the small vaccine vials,” while Pfizer’s plant would serve as a “research and development site for the fight against future viruses,” Netanyahu said.
He said he was negotiating with the companies to provide Israel with tens of millions of additional vaccine doses to ensure the country has enough supply to provide citizens with an anticipated booster shot every year.
“I want to be in a situation where the Right, the Left, Arabs, Jews... I want them all to get vaccinated [now], and I want to ensure they have the vaccines they require in the future,” Netanyahu said.
 
Israel was among the first countries in the world to sign contracts with these pharmaceutical companies.
In June, well before Moderna had completed the development of its coronavirus vaccine, Israel agreed to purchase two million doses. Later, it signed an expanded supply agreement to receive an additional four million doses. To date, about 100,000 Moderna doses have arrived in Israel.
Israel originally purchased eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through an agreement signed with the company in November. Last month, the company committed to supplying Israel with enough vaccines to inoculate any citizen who wants the jab in exchange for data on the campaign’s effectiveness on infection rates in Israel.
As of Tuesday night, Israel had vaccinated more than four million Israelis with at least the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Some 2.6 million Israelis had received both shots.  
Both Pfizer and Moderna are run by prominent Jewish scientists with whom the prime minister has established a personal relationship. Moderna chief medical officer Tal Zaks is a native Israeli. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was raised in Greece by his Sephardi Jewish parents, who survived the Holocaust.