Courtesy of JNS Photo credit: Yossi Aloni

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in a lab at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, on March 17, 2020.

(JNS) Israel signed a deal on Friday with Pfizer to receive eight million doses of the pharmaceutical company’s potential coronavirus vaccine, announced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader said that the two-dose treatment of the potential vaccine would cover four million Israelis, or almost half the population.

Israel would give Pfizer a thirty five million dollars advance as early as next week and an additional almost two hundred and two million dollars in January, when the possible vaccine would begin arriving. The cost of a person getting the potential two-dose vaccine would be around fifty six dollars.

Friday’s agreement still needs approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Israel’s Ministry of Health.

Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Pfizer is likely to seek approval this month.

In remarks on November 13th, Netanyahu said that in addition to the deal with Pfizer, Israel has “more agreements with additional promising companies on the way to receiving additional millions of vaccines for the citizens of Israel.”

Despite promising news about a vaccine, he stressed, Israel still needs to follow COVID-19 restrictions and protocols “until the arrival of the vaccines, and even afterwards.”

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