Israeli Institute: We Can Produce 15 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine for Israelis

YERUSHALAYIM -
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IDF technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in an IDF lab, last month. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Israel’s Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) can produce 15 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for Israelis after it completes its development, the Institute’s Director-General Professor Shmuel Shapira told the Knesset.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Science and Technology Committee, chaired by MK Einav Kabla, Shapira said, “On Feb. 2, Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed us to develop a vaccine and therapeutic antibodies for the citizens of the State of Israel, and since then we have been working around the clock to achieve this goal. We did not disappoint and delivered the product. No other institute in the world has carried out the amount or scope of experiments on animals as we have, so we feel more secure. We didn’t take any shortcuts, and we have validation that our vaccine is efficient and safe.

“We have the ability and knowledge to develop a vaccine for all the citizens of the State of Israel. We are talking about a scope of 10-15 million doses,” Shapira told the committee, adding that the Israeli vaccine will be ready for human trials in October, though it won’t be ready for phase three testing until next year.

“From the beginning I [knew] that we [would] not be the first, and those who apparently beat us, we beat them in other things,” Shapira said. “I think that our goal is not to be the first, but to get a good vaccine for the citizens of Israel.

“We hope that the second phase will finish towards the end of the year, [by] the end of December,” Shapira said. “The third phase is much more complicated and requires time.”

Committee Chairwoman MK Kabla said, “We are all waiting for the big news about a vaccine that will begin to put an end to the complicated situation we are in, which has implications in every area of our lives.”