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Israel in talks with AstraZeneca for potential COVID-19 vaccine

Shoppers wearing protective masks against the novel coronavirus, walk through the Shuk HaCarmel, or the Carmel market, in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on May 7, 2020 [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]
Shoppers wearing protective masks against the novel coronavirus in Tel Aviv on 7 May 2020 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel is in advanced negotiations with AstraZeneca for the future purchase of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, Israel's Ynet news website reported on Monday.

A Health Ministry spokesman said the ministry "does not disclose contacts being held in this sensitive matter."

The experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford university was safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, keeping alive the hope it could be in use by the end of the year.

AstraZeneca was not reachable for immediate comment.

Israel has already signed such an agreement with Moderna Inc for its vaccine candidate.

Israel: More than 12,000 soldiers quarantined over 'possible coronavirus infections'

Seperately, Israeli soldiers demolished a Palestinian security checkpoint used to test for coronavirus in the occupied West Bank. The checkpoint was set up by Palestinian security forces at the entrance to the occupied West Bank city of Jenin to prevent the spread of the virus.

A total of 468 new coronavirus cases and three deaths from the disease were recorded in the occupied Palestinian territories over the past 24 hours, confirmed the Ministry of Health today, leaving the active cases at 8,360 and total deaths at 65.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Israeli authorities continue to abuse the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, as part of decades-long attempts to drive them out of the area, and to similarly mistreat Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

According to B'Tselem, last month saw a spike in Israeli demolitions, which left 151 Palestinians, including 84 minors, homeless – despite the danger of remaining without shelter during a pandemic.

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CoronavirusIsraelMiddle EastNews
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