Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine has a 90 percent efficacy rate marked “an important day in the global struggle against coronavirus.”

Several other companies were making progress toward a vaccine, he said, including Israel, but still required more time.

Nevertheless, he said, “0ne thing is clear. Not long from today—it will not be years but months—there will be vaccines that will be available for the population of the world. My goal at the moment is to do one thing—bring vaccines to you, citizens of Israel, and we will do so. This means that the end is in view. I said a few days ago that I see light at the end of the tunnel. I think that train is already exiting the tunnel.”

Also on Monday, Netanyahu visited Ben-Gurion International Airport to inaugurate the facility’s COVID-19 rapid-testing lab, together with Transportation Minister Miri Regev and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

The Israeli premier said the “innovative” system could help the country “get back to a better, quicker and more efficient aviation routine,” adding, “We want to renew Israel’s link to the world.”

Netanyahu praised the progress that Israel has made in reducing its soaring coronavirus morbidity rate but warned that it could not be allowed to rise so high again.

“We succeeded in lowering morbidity from one of the highest rates in the world, if not the highest, to one of the lowest rates in the West, if not the lowest, and we want to keep to it,” he said.

However, he added, after the country moved to stage two of the phased lifting of the national lockdown, “morbidity is starting to go up.” If the indicators do not improve in the coming days, he said, the move to stage three will be delayed.

“Together we will take the steps that will ensure that morbidity does not increase because if it does, it will go up like a jet or missile taking off for the heavens. This destroys the economy and it exacts a tremendous price in lives and the health of the people. Therefore, I request your cooperation,” he said.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.