An illustrative photo of a patient receiving a measles vaccine in Israel. 

Israel is negotiating for the rights to purchase a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine is safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, according to the results of the vaccine’s Phase I/II trial, which were were published in The Lancet medical journal on Monday.

Although the British company’s policy is to sell the vaccine to international organizations to avoid favoring one country over another, Israel has contacted the company directly, and according to Israeli Health Ministry officials is working through multiple channels to secure as large a supply of vaccines as possible, as quickly as possible.

Thus far, Israel has only signed a deal to purchase vaccines with the firm Moderna. But given that it is unclear which vaccine will be finished and approved first, Israel expects to sign more deals with other firms.

AstraZeneca Israel said in response to the reports that “as part of efforts to make the vaccine accessible, a decision has been made that international groups and organizations will handle any future distribution of the vaccine between the countries of the world.

“The pharmaceutical company is working day and night to supply a vaccine for COVID-19, if one is found to be safe and effective in the final stage of clinical trials. AstraZeneca is working constantly with the Health Ministry to make vaccines available to the people of Israel.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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