Israel seeks to establish in-house vaccine production facility

The country is completely dependent on imported vaccines and therefore “the ability to develop, manufacture and license vaccines in Israel is of the utmost importance to deal with family pathogens and / or unknown pathogens that could seriously harm public health and health. Israeli economy “. explained a Market Approach (AtM) released Monday by the Finance Ministry.

COVID-19 accelerated the country’s desire to explore other alternatives that may be less expensive, ensuring a constant supply of vaccines to tackle the current and future epidemic.

Although final official figures were never released, it is understood that Israel paid a premium price for the millions of Pfizer vaccines it purchased to inoculate the majority of the population. In addition, to receive the Pfizer vaccines, Israel had to agree to exchange inoculation and infection data with the pharmaceutical company.

A healthcare worker delivers doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a doctor at the Messe Wien Congress Center, which has been established as a vaccination center against coronavirus disease, in Vienna, Austria, on February 7. 2021 (credit: REUTERS / LISI). NIESNER / FILE PHOTO)

The AtM was released by the ministry on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Economic Council and the ministries of Health, Economy and Defense based on a decision taken by the government on July 11, shortly after the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office.

During his tenure, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also called for a vaccine facility to be established, but no move was made toward its establishment. It also touted a joint effort to establish a vaccine research and development facility in Israel alongside Pfizer, but the company told The Jerusalem Post that this was just “political speech” and not something that is being considered in practice.

The partners are ‚Äúseeking input from the public in order to examine, commercially and practically, a possible framework for establishing a vaccine manufacturing facility in Israel that will have independent capabilities to routinely manufacture vaccines, as well as the ability to manufacture vaccines for future pandemics “.

Once the process is concluded, it is hoped that there will be a better understanding of the best model among various alternatives for Israel and the obstacles that could arise and how to deal with them.

Responses are due February 17, 2021.

The location where the facility will be established is also to be determined.

Yeruham Local Council Director Tal Ohana has been pushing to establish a vaccine production plant in her city since before the pandemic and was in talks with the Israel Institute for Biological Research about setting up a plant to produce your vaccine, if approved. However, he said that “currently it is not the same place, because we do not have the technology … I am not optimistic.”

An AtM is a step before a tender, which means that it is an information gathering tool and not a request for proposals. Only after receiving the responses to the AtM will the state consider its future actions.

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