Swine flu vaccination
Photo: Reuters

Israel to purchase more swine flu vaccines

Health Ministry signs agreement to purchase H1N1 vaccines from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis week after similar deal struck with France's Sanofi Pasteur

The Health Ministry signed an agreement on Saturday to purchase H1N1 vaccines from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, about a week after it struck a similar NIS 7 million ($1.85 million) deal with French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.


The agreement was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.


"The government of Israel will consider purchasing more vaccines from other companies if needed," the Health Ministry said in a statement.


Litzman is currently visiting the US, where he is meeting with the heads of American pharmaceutical firms who manufacture vaccines. During his meetings with American health officials, Litzman asked that the US transfer tens of thousands of swine flu vaccine doses to Israel.


It is estimated that Israel will need between 500,000 and a million doses to vaccinate citizens who are at risk of complications related to the H1N1 virus.


According to the agreement with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine will only become available in the beginning of 2010, while Novartis estimated that the first doses will be available at the end of this year.


The Swiss company said it signed agreements with a number of other countries, including the US, France and Holland.


פרסום ראשון: 08.16.09, 10:26
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