PM Bennett: We're looking into manufacturing coronavirus vaccines in Israel

PM Bennett to propose formation of committee to seriously examine establishment of vaccine factory in Israel.

Hezki Baruch ,

PM Naftali Bennett
PM Naftali Bennett
Shalev Shalom/TPS

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) will present for government approval an initiative to create a staff which will examine the possibility of opening a factory for manufacturing coronavirus vaccines in Israel.

The staff will work through an organized process, including holding advisory meetings with all relevant professionals, in order to formulate the best plan for establishing the factory.

The Finance Ministry's Accountant General will head the staff, which will also include representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, the Budget Department, the National Economic Council, and the Health Ministry.

The factory, if it is opened, will manufacture medical products, while preferentially and continuously manufacturing vaccines. At the same time, the factory will have the ability to adapt its activities to manufacture additional vaccines during times of emergency, and to preferentially use various technologies.

Due to the importance and advantages in cooperation between several countries with regards to manufacturing vaccines on a significant scale, a steering committee will be formed to coordinate the partnerships with additional countries interested in working together with Israel on the creation of infrastructure for research and development and the manufacture of vaccines, in accordance with agreements signed on the issue between the various countries.

"We are working around the clock in a variety of ways in order to protect the health of Israel's citizens," Bennett said. "The ability to manufacture vaccines independently, in Israel, has the potential to be something very dramatic, especially when looking towards the future, at future pandemics. The professional staffs will examine this, and we will make a decision as soon as possible."

The idea of opening a factory in Israel is not new: In March, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Galei Tzahal’s Efi Triger that the government was "in talks with Pfizer and Moderna for the establishment of a vaccine factory in Israel."