Israel in talks with AstraZeneca for potential COVID-19 vaccine, YNET reports

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is in advanced negotiations with AstraZeneca for the future purchase of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, Israel’s YNET news website reported on Monday.

A Health Ministry spokesman said the ministry “does not disclose contacts being held in this sensitive matter.”

The experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford university was safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, keeping alive the hope it could be in use by the end of the year.

AstraZeneca was not reachable for immediate comment.

Israel has already signed such an agreement with Moderna Inc for its vaccine candidate.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Edmund Blair