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– This may mean that we are building vaccine factories in Israel. This is not an unrealistic scenario, the Danish Prime Minister said during a question and answer session in the Danish Parliament on Tuesday, reports dansk TV2.
The Social Democrat Mette Frederiksen and the Conservative Chancellor of Austria have thus joined forces to seek advice from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
– We are happy to buy vaccines from countries that cannot use them – either because they do not have time to roll them out at the same rate as us, or for other reasons – Frederiksen tells the news agency Ritzau.
– We will discuss how we can become more self-sufficient with vaccines, both in the short term to get more vaccines against covid-19, but also in the longer term, Frederiksen writes in a press release.
Israel has already vaccinated more than half of the population with the first dose of vaccine. Of those over 60, 80 percent have also received a second dose.
Not relevant for Norway
State Secretary Saliba Andreas Korkunc in the Ministry of Health and Care Services writes in an e-mail to NTB that it is not relevant for Norway to introduce vaccines until they have been approved by European and Norwegian pharmaceutical authorities.
– We have a great understanding that many countries are impatient to obtain more vaccines, he writes, but still does not believe that the EU’s vaccine cooperation is cracking.
– According to European drug authorities, neither Russian nor Chinese manufacturers have applied for approval, Korkunc points out.
– Will not rely solely on the EU
Chancellor Kurz says that Denmark and Austria will no longer rely solely on the EU to obtain vaccines. He points to problems with both the deliveries and the slow process of approving vaccines, writes several media in Austria, among them the newspaper Courier.
During question time in Copenhagen, Frederiksen emphasized that this is not a breach of the EU:
– I do not consider this a breach of European cooperation. We do our best to be part of it as well, said the Danish Prime Minister.
But Frederiksen emphasizes that Israel has come a long way in its dialogue with the vaccine manufacturer Pfizer-Biontech.
– We know more about that dialogue when we come to Israel on Thursday, says Mette Frederiksen.
According to the Financial Times, the establishment of vaccine production will be a key issue when the three heads of government meet later this week.
Israel, Austria and Denmark will already be in dialogue with vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna to establish factories.
Financial Times states that they have this from anonymous sources in the state administration in Austria.
He also says that the authorities in Austria already have concrete plans for where in Israel such production can take place.
In other EU countries, too, frustration is growing that they are receiving too few vaccines through EU cooperation. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary have imported Chinese and Russian vaccines. Poland has also asked China to send vaccines.
– Not just a sunshine story
Danish media report on criticism from the Social Democrats’ support parties in the Folketing. They believe that Mette Frederiksen should be critical of the lack of vaccines for the Palestinian West Bank. This is what representatives of the Radical Left, the Socialist People’s Party (SF) and the Unity List say Jyllandsposten and Politics.
– She must not take a humble tone towards the Israelis. says SF politician Karsten Hønge to Politiken. He thinks it is obvious that Mette Frederiksen has to talk to Netanyahu about discriminating against the Palestinians.
– This is not just a sunshine story, says Hønge.