The first shipment of drugmaker Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine landed at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport from Germany on Thursday afternoon.
The shipment arrived in Israel three days after the Health Ministry authorized the use of the vaccine in its inoculation campaign that has seen almost 2 million Israelis vaccinated in just two weeks.
The delivery contains more than 100,000 doses of the vaccine, which is only enough to fully vaccinate 50,000 people.
The vaccine will be used to inoculate those in at-risk groups who are confined to their homes, due to it being easier to transport than the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored in special containers at -70°C temperature.
According to the Health Ministry, the vaccination roll-out for those confined to their homes is expected to begin as early as next week.
“This is Moderna's first shipment, there will be more, and I am working to bring millions more doses for Israeli citizens so we can get out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Netanyahu said Wednesday.
Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks told Ynet on Wednesday that he is “very proud as an Israeli that Israel is one of the first countries in the world to mobilize for the early purchase of all vaccines, both ours and Pfizer’s, and is at the forefront today in terms of the ability to vaccinate its citizens.”
Meanwhile, Moderna's Israeli chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, told Ynet on Wednesday that his company would be delivering its vaccine to Israel in the coming days. "I am very proud as an Israeli that Israel is one of the first countries in the world to mobilize for the early purchase of all vaccines, both ours and Pfizer’s, and is at the forefront today in terms of the ability to vaccinate its citizens,” he said.
Moderna says its vaccine was 94.5% efficient in clinical trials, similar to the efficacy rate of the Pfizer vaccine.