Israel’s first two volunteers for human clinical trials for Israel’s coronavirus vaccine, the Brilife vaccine developed by the Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), were injected with the vaccine on Sunday morning, kicking off Phase 1 of the trial.
Segev Harel, a 26-year-old college student from Kibbutz Sde Nehemia in northern Israel, who received the vaccine at Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer, said that he views his participation in the trial as “a historic opportunity.”
Anar Otolangi, a 34-year-old doctoral student from southern Israel, received the vaccine at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein were present at Sheba Hospital for the kick-off of the vaccine, meeting with Harel after he was injected with the vaccine.
We just met Segev, a 26-year-old Israeli man, who volunteered to be the first to receive the experimental vaccine developed here by the talented scientists at the IIBR. We wish success during these and the latter stages. With G-d's help, we will have a vaccine made here in Israel pic.twitter.com/bzr78u8Xsu
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 1, 2020
“I can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Netanyahu said. “The only true exit from the coronavirus crisis is a vaccine.”
The volunteers will be hospitalized overnight for monitoring and released in the morning. Additional volunteers will be vaccinated by Tuesday or Wednesday, with 80 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18-55 ultimately receiving the vaccine over the course of a month, with one in four of them receiving a placebo. All volunteers will be monitored over three weeks for side effects and of course, for antibodies to the coronavirus – signaling immunity.
If all goes well, Phase II will begin in December, during which 960 volunteers aged 18-85, including those with preexisting conditions, will receive the vaccine. Phrase III will begin next April or May, in the course of which 30,000 volunteers will receive the vaccine.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)