Germany committed to sharing COVID vaccine with Israel

German government reportedly commits to provide Israel with option of procuring AstroZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Ben Ariel ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The German government has committed to provide Israel with the option of procuring the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca if it is found to be safe and effective, the Israeli Embassy in Germany told the Globes financial newspaper on Tuesday.

The EU has signed an agreement with UK-Swedish company AstraZeneca to reserve 400 million vaccinations, and according to the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, Germany will insist that Israel, which is an associate member of the EU, will be considered part of the EU.

The commitment was reportedly given to Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Health Minister Jens Spahn.

However, it is unclear how quickly such large amounts of the vaccine, being developed in partnership with Oxford University, can be delivered. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently in advanced Phase III human trials.

Last month, AstraZeneca paused a late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine after a suspected serious adverse reaction in a study participant. The trial resumed several days later.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Germany, Shir Gidon, told Globes, "Germany sees Israel as part of Europe in terms of procuring the vaccine and therefore it will be permitted to convey the vaccine for use in Israel when it is approved."

The deal is part of Germany's “special relationship” with Israel and its commitment to Israel's safety and security, according to the report.

Germany and Israel have generally enjoyed solid relations, despite reports of diplomatic tensions between the countries in 2016. Both Israel and Germany denied the reports at the time.