Jerusalem: Israel began human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, Hadassah and Sheba Medical Centers said.
In Sheba hospital, located in central Israel, a 26-year-old business student was injected with the novel “BriLife” vaccine created by the Israeli Institute of Biological Research (IIBR), Xinhua news agency reportred on Sunday.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited Sheba hospital on Sunday, said that “the true exit from the coronavirus crisis is in the development of vaccines. Therefore, this is a very important day, which gives a shot of encouragement.”
At the same time, another 34-year-old volunteer was vaccinated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
This month, about 80 more volunteers will be vaccinated at the two hospitals, with half receiving a vaccine and the others receiving a placebo vaccine.
Then, over a period of three weeks, the researchers will test whether the volunteers vaccinated developed antibodies.
The second phase, scheduled for December, will include safety tests to be conducted on 960 volunteers.
In the third and final phase, in about six months, the effectiveness of the vaccine will be tested with the participation of up to 30,000 volunteers.
IIBR, a governmental institute founded in 1952 and located in the central city of Ness Ziona, deals with applied research in the fields of biology, microbiology, medical chemistry, natural sciences and environmental sciences.