'Israel's vaccination campaign is model for entire world'

After heading Moderna's coronavirus vaccine development, Dr. Tal Zaks is ready to tackle new challenges at Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Eyal Levi, Israel Hayom ,

Receiving the coronavirus vaccine (illustrative)
Receiving the coronavirus vaccine (illustrative)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The latest limit imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the coronavirus booster shot took many by surprise, including Dr. Tal Zaks, the Israeli researcher who was in charge of Moderna's vaccine development.

"I was very surprised," he told Israel Hayom. "But the ruling to administer the booster shot to people over the age of 65 and those at high risk was passed unanimously, and in my opinion, it is only a matter of time until the recommendation is expanded."

Q: In your opinion, is the booster shot effective?

"Yes, data from Israel is clear and it shows that immunity [provided by the booster] is high."

According to Zaks, Israel's entire inoculation campaign is an inspiration to the world.

"The way Israel vaccinated its population has become a model for the whole world. How it enlisted for the mission and understood the dangers," he added.

A few months ago, after serving as Chief Medical Officer at Moderna, Zaks decided to leave the company and look for a new challenge. Most recently, he was offered a job at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Israel's largest drug manufacturer.

"My role in Moderna began to change in early 2020, when I enlisted in the battle against the coronavirus," Zaks said from his home in Newton, Massachusetts. "I learned the importance of communicating with the public and the press, but what motivates me is the scientific endeavor, so for me moving on felt like the natural next step. At the end of the day, the feeling is that the great [COVID] war is coming to an end."



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