RUSSIA - Israeli Hospital Orders 1.5 Million Russian Virus Vaccines

Arno Froese

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center has preordered 1.5 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine from Russia, where it is still in Phase 3 trials but has already been administered to tens of thousands of people. 

CEO Zeev Rotstein said that the medical center would apply for Health Ministry permission to eventually use the vaccine in Israel, if the trials in Russia prove it is safe and can prevent infection, Haaretz reported. 

“There is a pretty good probability that the vaccine is safe and a reasonable probability… that it is also effective,” he said, but noted the full picture will only be clear when all the data is available at the end of the Russian trial, which is nearing completion. 

If all goes well, the vaccine, named Sputnik V, could be available in Israel within two to three months, according to the report. 

Rotstein said that Hadassah is high up on the list of those ordering the Russian vaccine, though he admitted he is not sure if the entire lot will be delivered. A request to purchase a further a 1.5 million vaccines has not yet been approved by Russian authorities. 

Russia was the first country to register a vaccine when it announced it had a ready-to use product in August. At the time, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that Israel would be interested in talking with Russia about the vaccine, if it is shown to work. 

While he admitted there is always a possibility that the Russians “are messing with us,” Rotstein said he knows senior Russian officials who received the vaccine “and they didn’t grow horns. They are walking around without masks.”

The Russian vaccine deal came as Israel pushes ahead with Phase 1 trials in its own research for a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

In June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had signed a deal with Moderna for a future coronavirus vaccine, and Moderna’s Israeli chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks, predicted the Jewish state would receive its COVID-19 vaccine before June 2021., 5 November 2020

Arno's commentary

At this point in time, there is no end in sight to the race for effective coronavirus vaccines. The fact that an Israeli hospital ordered these vaccines is definitely noteworthy. 

Russia prides itself to be the first country to register the vaccine. With a population of 142 million, Russia is listed as the world’s ninth most populous country, but its geography is mind-boggling: an almost 18 million square kilometers (USA is 9.8 million sq. km). Life expectancy is relatively low: 71.9 years. The per-capita GDP for 2017 was listed as $27,900. In contrast, Israel’s life expectancy is 83 years, with a per-capita GDP of $36,400 for 2017. 

How effective the Sputnik-V vaccine will be in Israel is yet to be seen. What Israel has done, and always does, is get all the information available, and make the necessary purchases where a promise of success seems likely. 

Biblically speaking, we are reminded of Jeremiah 8:22: “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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