Yeshiva World News
Israel’s first vaccine production facility will be built in the small town of Yerucham in southern Israel, a Yerucham local council spokesperson announced on Monday night.
The announcement followed a meeting on Sunday of the Yerucham local council, the Israel Institue for Biological Research (IIBR) and an international pharmaceutical company.
The announcement about the planned vaccine factory came on the same day that IIBR revealed it has isolated a COVID-19 antibody and is hoping to produce it on a commercial scale as a drug treatment for COVID-19.
The vaccine plant will be built in the near future, according to a statement by the Yerucham local council.
In 2016, the Israeli government made a decision to establish a vaccine plant as a strategic asset for Israel in the case of a pandemic. However, although plans for the plant have been continuously delayed, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved an initiative to begin efforts on establishing a vaccine factory even before the coronavirus pandemic began – in early February. This was due to the recommendation of Health Minister Yaakov Litzman in the wake of a particularly virulent flu season this past winter with a high number of fatalities.
The Health Ministry began a campaign to encourage Israelis to receive flu vaccinations but a shortage of the vaccines quickly ensued, leading Litzman to conclude that Israel must become self-sufficient in providing vaccines for its citizens rather than relying on international drug companies.
According to the plan, the vaccine factory will manufacture tens of millions of vaccines, providing for the needs of all Israeli citizens.