Pfizer boss receives Genesis Prize in Jerusalem

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Pfizer boss receives Genesis Prize in Jerusalem

The annual $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the "Jewish Nobel", honours extraordinary individuals for their outstanding , contribution to humanity.

President of Israel Isaac Herzog, Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets, and 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate, Dr. Albert Bourla.

Photography credit: Lior Mizrahi, Getty
President of Israel Isaac Herzog, Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Prize Foundation Stan Polovets, and 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate, Dr. Albert Bourla. Photography credit: Lior Mizrahi, Getty

The chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer has been presented with the Genesis Prize at a ceremony in Jerusalem.

The gala event brought together hundreds of dignitaries from Israel, including government ministers, heads of business and philanthropic organisations, as well as prominent representatives of the Jewish Diaspora and leading members of the global medical community.

The annual $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel”, honours extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, commitment to Jewish values and the State of Israel.

Dr. Albert Bourla’s award recognises his leadership in delivering a vaccine against COVID-19, which saved millions of lives during the pandemic. The Genesis Prize also celebrates the boldness of his vision and willingness to assume risks, which enabled delivery of the vaccine in record time.

In addition to honouring the humanitarian impact of Dr. Bourla’s leadership, the award also celebrates his pride in his Jewish identity and heritage, and his strong support for the State of Israel.

President Isaac Herzog said: “Albert Bourla was not deterred by high stakes, by naysayers, by conspiracy or by politics. He believed in the vaccine, and invested every ounce of himself in realising what seemed at the time a far-fetched fantasy. The vaccine was developed in record speed, utilising the technology of tomorrow to successfully hold back a devastating pandemic.

“A study published by The Lancet just days ago, points to nearly 20 million lives saved by COVID vaccines. Indeed, the vaccine gave us freedom we thought we lost. Albert, I congratulate you and your colleagues and counterparts, who are making such a critical impact on humanity, while embracing your Jewish heritage and values, and inspiring Jewish pride.”

The ceremony opened with a moving tribute to the people of Ukraine and appreciation to the many Israeli and international Jewish organisations who are providing humanitarian aid.

Dr. Bourla said: “I am honoured and deeply humbled to receive the Genesis Prize. Honoured because I never set out to be famous, and I never imagined that I would one day be up here with the illustrious nominees and past awardees – artists, philanthropists, and statesmen and stateswomen who show the world the best that the Jewish people have to offer. And humbled because this is not my award – it belongs to all Pfizer colleagues who worked tirelessly in the middle of a global pandemic to make the ‘impossible possible’ and give the world a chance to return to normalcy. Every life is precious and we must confront our challenges with courage, humility and perseverance. My Pfizer colleagues lived these values, and I am proud to be here in Israel to celebrate them.”

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