The decision to choose Israel as the experimental incubator for the coronavirus vaccine of the pharmaceutical giant it owns was not based on an "emotional connection," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said today (Tuesday) at the Jerusalem Post conference.
He said, "Israel has a special place in my heart. It not only symbolizes the fulfillment of a dream, but a stable anchor so that we and our children will feel safe from the things that have happened to us in the past."
However, Pfizer's CEO stressed that his decision to sell enough vaccines to Israel was based on difficult decisions that were made seriously. "Given the results," he added, "the decisions were wise."
Bourla said he was looking for a country that could demonstrate what the vaccine is capable of doing. "To put it simply, Israel had all the conditions for this, including its health care system. The small population has made research and data collection on vaccine effects much more accessible. Israel has extensive and accessible electronic information connected to an extraordinary amount of the population."
"In conclusion, it is very important to emphasize There are almost no countries that have the same experience as Israel in crisis management. "
Bourla added that both Israel and Pfizer were ready for the challenge and the results of the cooperation between them were "phenomenal". To date, close to 6.2 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the American pharmaceutical giant's vaccine. In total, close to 16 million of the company's vaccine doses were given in Israel, whether in the first, second or third dose. "We have no ability to rest on laurels," Bourla added. "Our work is still far from over. Pfizer is committed to staying one step ahead of the virus."
He stated that Pfizer will devote the next few months to working towards expanding the emergency approval of the third dose of the vaccine, and will submit supervised information from its research labs, which test the efficacy and safety of the dose in populations of children ages 11-5 as well. The CEO also noted that Pfizer will continue to work on the oral vaccine dose, not just the injection.
He added that cooperation with Israel on this issue is also on the agenda. "We look forward to working with the scientific and academic communities in Israel in many areas," he concluded, "and as always, we will follow science."