US/World News

Netanyahu signs vaccine deal, says Pfizer CEO is ‘proud’ of his Jewish heritage

(JTA) – Israel’s government has signed an agreement with the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to acquire 8 million doses of its vaccine. The announcement came days after Netanyahu said in a video address that Israel would be able to sign a deal with Pfizer in part because the company’s CEO, Albert Bourla, told Netanyahu he is proud to be Jewish. “Albert Bourla is very proud of his Greek heritage and of his Jewish heritage, from Thessaloniki,” Netanyahu said. “After this conversation, which was very productive and very practical, I’m convinced we will complete the contract with Pfizer.”

Pfizer announced on Nov. 9 that late-stage trials of its vaccine were more than 90% effective. The pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine still needs to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, along with Israel’s equivalent agency.

“We must all continue to keep the directives and the rules until the arrival of the vaccines, and even afterwards,” Netanyahu said Friday. “If we continue to work together with the same caution, responsibility and unity, we will be among the first in the world to successfully exit the coronavirus crisis.” Netanyahu said that the vaccine should begin arriving in the country in January.

Main Photo: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, right, in purple tie, waits to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 17, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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