The leaders of Austria, Denmark and Israel have announced they will jointly invest in coronavirus vaccines to protect people against new surges and mutations.
Their plans include a research foundation and plants for distributing vaccines to base based both in Europe and Israel.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s prime minister, said they were drawn to a deal by Israel’s successful vaccination campaign.
More than half of the Israeli population has received at least one coronavirus inoculation so far.
In Austria and Denmark, the figure is below 7%.
“I think I can say on behalf of Chancellor Kurz and myself that we are very inspired of Israel’s ability to roll out the vaccines,” Frederiksen said at a press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday.
She warned the world could not afford to be caught off-guard by another pandemic.
Her Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu said “We have to protect our people against the re-emergence of this pandemic, or mutations, and we want to create two capacities.
“We think that by joining our resources, the resources of three small but very able and gifted countries, we can better meet these challenges.”
Kurz said the model of global cooperation was the only way to overcome the pandemic.
“Vaccine production involves many steps, so we will divide the task between us, and each is to focus on specific ones,” he said.
The announcement comes less than three weeks before Israel’s general election, its fourth in two years.
Israel has been criticised on the international stage for so far not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Authorities say that situation will change beginning next week, when 100,000 people who work in Israel but live in the Occupied Territories will be provided with vaccines.
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