The three countries already agreed during the corona pandemic. Now Israel, Austria and Denmark are going one step further.
Jerusalem (dpa) – Israel and the two EU countries Austria and Denmark want to arm themselves with a vaccine alliance against possible future production and delivery difficulties.
The heads of government of the three states, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sebastian Kurz and Mette Frederiksen, agreed on a deeper cooperation in Jerusalem on Thursday. There is to be closer cooperation in areas such as research and production. Kurz and Frederiksen also found out about the vaccination campaign there and the Green Pass in Israel. The Austrian-Danish initiative met with criticism in France.
The corona vaccination campaign in Israel is significantly faster than the one in the EU. This is not least due to the digitized health system, but also to sufficient vaccine doses. The Biontech / Pfizer preparation is mainly used in the country. An agreement between the government in Jerusalem and Pfizer provides for vaccination data to be sent in return for the supply of sufficient vaccine.
Netanyahu said protection will likely continue to be needed in the future. The three countries therefore wanted to set up a fund for vaccine research and development and start efforts for joint production. According to Kurz, experts assume that Austria alone will need around 30 million doses in the coming years – with a population of around nine million people. Therefore, cooperation in the EU is necessary, but also worldwide. According to the Austrian Chancellor, the three countries decided to jointly invest in production facilities in Europe and Israel.
Kurz had already announced before the visit to Israel that he would no longer rely solely on the European Union for vaccine procurement. In other countries, too, the responsible EU Commission was criticized for the fact that the quantities were insufficient.
However, France stressed the importance of European solidarity. «We have taken note of this approach from Denmark and Austria. However, we are still firmly convinced that the most effective solution to meet vaccination needs must continue to be based on the European framework, ”said the Foreign Ministry in Paris. Solidarity between the Member States is more important than ever. “That is why it is now a priority to bundle our resources in order to increase production capacity in Europe, which we are also doing.”
To see the application of the Green Pass, Kurz and Frederiksen visited a gym in the city of Modiin together with Netanyahu. With the pass, which is presented via the app or as a printout, people who have been vaccinated and recovered from Covid can visit gyms and swimming pools again. So far, this has not been possible for unvaccinated persons.
Netanyahu said the passport didn’t have to wait for everyone to be vaccinated. Through it one could begin to open up in principle every area of the economy and public life.
Kurz is a vehement advocate of such a passport in the EU as well. The EU Commission wants to present the draft law for a digital green passport on March 17th, in which vaccinations, illnesses and negative tests are to be noted. According to the concept, each state would ultimately decide for itself which advantages would be associated with it – if there were any. Some states, including Germany, have reservations about possible privileges for vaccinated people. They object that only a few have access to vaccinations. In addition, it is not clear whether the virus can be passed on despite vaccination. Critics also fear a disguised vaccination requirement.
Israel, Austria and Denmark had consulted regularly with Australia, Norway, Greece and the Czech Republic during the pandemic. The heads of government of the federal states interconnected several times via video conference. Israel will vote on March 23rd. Netanyahu is running again for the post of prime minister.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210304-99-692534 / 2
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Israel Austria Denmark forge vaccine alliance