In the midst of s feared scarcity of vaccines, the Israeli Health Ministry has now approved the Moderna vaccine, after a month of approving the Pfizer shot and reaching the 1 Million mark with the inoculations.
On Monday, US biotech company Moderna announced that Israel’s Health Ministry has approved its COVID-19 vaccine and it expects to start shipping doses to Israel this month. The Israeli Health Ministry has managed to secure a total of 6 million doses of the vaccine, which are enough to inoculate 3 million people in the country which is already far ahead of other nations in vaccinating its citizens.
Quite a smart move on Israel’s part, the country had faced flak for hoarding Pfizer vaccines, leaving other countries with minimal doses, and raising objections for more shipments to be made from the pharmaceutical giant. By securing Moderna’s doses, Israel wouldn’t have to worry about a long break in vaccine administration, especially amidst the rising number of cases in the country and a strict lockdown.
“Ministry of Health of Israel has secured 6 million doses and first deliveries [are] expected to begin in January,” Moderna’s statement said. It did not specify how many doses will arrive at first, so it’s unclear if the early shipments will help Israel stave off an expected shortage of vaccine doses. So far, the approval for Moderna’s vaccine is its third worldwide, following the US and Canada. The company said more authorizations are under review in the EU, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK.
Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, claimed Israel’s authorization of the vaccine to be a “landmark moment” in the global struggle against the virus, saying, “This is the third regulatory authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine Moderna, and its first outside of North America. I want to thank the Ministry of Health of Israel for their efforts, as their team has worked tirelessly alongside ours to ensure timely authorization of this vaccine.”
Meanwhile, in Israel, there are 53,912 active cases, 772 patients in serious condition, and 3,445 Israelis have died of COVID-19. Monday brought the highest single-day tally since early October with 7,061 new infections confirmed during the day.