Israel Set To Begin Clinical Trials on COVID-19 Vaccine Next Week

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits a laboratory in the Israel Institute for Biological Research on October 25, 2020. (Defense Ministry)

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The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) will begin clinical trials next Sunday on a potential coronavirus vaccine after receiving the necessary approvals from the Health Ministry and Helsinki Committee. The human trials are considered the most crucial stage in the development of a vaccine.

The trials will be conducted over several months and will include three separate phases. The first phase will include a series of tests on healthy volunteers aged 18-55, with the first trials beginning on Sunday, November 1st with two initial participants. If the two volunteers don’t experience any adverse responses, the vaccine will then be gradually administered to a total of 80 volunteers.

Each volunteer will receive an injection, with some containing the vaccine and others containing a placebo, and will be monitored over a period of three weeks. Scientists will evaluate volunteers regularly for any possible side-effects and will monitor the potential development of antibodies against the coronavirus in volunteers.

The second phase will include extensive testing that will see the participation of 960 healthy volunteers over the age of 18. The trial is expected to begin in December and will be held simultaneously in several medical centers across the country. In this phase, scientists aim to complete vaccine safety precautions, determine the effective dosage, and further determine the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The third phase is a large-scale trial to test the effectiveness of the vaccine, with the participation of up to 30,000 volunteers. The experiment is scheduled to begin in April/May and will be subject to the success of the first two phases. If this last stage be successful, the vaccine is expected to be approved for mass use.

“We are now beginning a crucial phase in the development of the vaccine, the clinical trials phase,” Director of the Israel Institute for Biological Research, Prof. Shmuel Shapira said. “I believe in the abilities of our scientists and I am confident that we can produce a safe and effective vaccine. The commercial name of the vaccine is BriLife. We will continue to work to benefit the health of Israel’s citizens, as well as the economy and society of the State of Israel. Our final goal is 15 million vaccines for the residents of the State of Israel and for our close neighbors.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)



1 COMMENT

  1. Why would EY just now BEGIN vaccine trials when there are already multiple vaccines completing Phase III trials and nearing final approval in the U.S. and Europe. (I’m ignoring vaccines in China and Russia for obvious reasons). Why wouldn’t EY use one of the vaccines alrady developed rather than beginning a new Phase I trial now when we are beginning the peak Virus and Flu season?