Israel to Test COVID-19 Vaccine on Humans After Sukkos

YERUSHALAYIM -
IIBR Director General Professor Shmuel Shapira gives Defense Minister Benny Gantz a vial of the vaccine, on Thursday. (Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday that the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Nes Ziona will commence clinical trials on humans of a coronavirus vaccine, known as stage 3 testing, after the chagim in Tishrei.

“The successful preliminary trials raise much hope,” said Gantz. “The next step, as agreed, is the beginning of human trials after the chagim. This will be done in coordination with the Health Ministry and according to all requirements.”

Gantz was presented with advances in the development of the coronavirus vaccine and antibody.

The director of the institute, Prof. Shmuel Shapira, said “there is an excellent vaccine, there are regulatory processes that the vaccine has to go through according to the schedule, we start after the holidays with safety and efficacy experiments but we have the product in hand.”

The launch of the vaccine trial comes as Israel has struggled to contain the spread of the coronavirus, with an escalating number of cases in the “second wave.”

Advanced talks are now underway with a number of countries where the experimental vaccine will be tested. The Biological Institute has so far conducted experiments on animals and claimed that its results have been positive. Israel is expected to deliver vaccine doses to the countries that will join in the trial, if the development process of the vaccine is successful.

The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a global race for a vaccine, with more than 100 in development and about a dozen already being tested on humans.