Sun, 09 May 2021

JERUSALEM, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel will begin another national COVID-19 vaccination rollout by the end of 2021, in a bid that might include children, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.

Speaking in a televised statement, Netanyahu said he reached an agreement with drug giants Pfizer and Moderna to purchase 16 million coronavirus vaccines, in addition to the millions already purchased from the two companies.

"We are preparing for another vaccination campaign in about six months," Netanyahu said, adding the rollout might include children, an age group that has mostly not been vaccinated so far.

"We estimate that by then the vaccines will be approved ones for children," he explained.

The planned rollout is aimed at preventing the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, the Israeli leader noted.

The announcement came a day after Netanyahu said he held talks with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.

Israel began a large-scale vaccination rollout in December 2020, with the aim of vaccinating its entire population. So far, more than half of the country's 9.3 million citizens have received both shots of the Pfizer vaccine.

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