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Health News

Israel asks for U.S. help in getting potential Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said it asked the U.S. government on Monday to help it get access to Pfizer's PFE.N potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier in the day, Pfizer Inc said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective, a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed more than a million people, battered the world’s economy and upended daily life.

Israel’s finance minister Israel Katz said he had discussed the vaccine during talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“I asked Mnuchin for help in supplying the vaccine to Israel in parallel with its supply to the United States, as part of an agreement signed between the U.S. administration and the company for the immediate delivery of 600 million doses,” Katz said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it an important day in the fight against the pandemic and said “the end is in site”.

“My goal at the moment is to do one thing - to bring vaccines to you citizens of Israel, and we will do so,” he said.

Israel already has an agreement with Moderna Inc for the future purchase of its potential COVID-19 vaccine and has been in talks with other companies as well.

It has also started human trials on its own vaccine candidate.

Reporting by Steven Scheer and Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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