Gantz, Katz Allocate NIS 86M for Development of Coronavirus Vaccine

YERUSHALAYIM -
A diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) announced Thursday that they have allocated NIS 86 million ($25.28 million) to strengthen the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) development of a coronavirus vaccine.

This allocation aims at funding the pilot program scheduled to begin after the chagim.

“As part of the tremendous efforts I am making for the benefit of the Israeli economy, and due to the enormous importance of returning the economy and life to a healthy and robust routine,” declared Katz, “we agreed to allocate NIS 86 million to the Institute for Biological Research to advance the coronavirus vaccine.

“I will continue to work for the citizens of Israel and the development of the economy and enable the continued work of the Biological Institute so that they can advance in the development of the vaccine,” he added.

IIBR Director General Professor Shmuel Shapira gives Defense Minister Benny Gantz a vial of the vaccine, Aug. 6. (Defense Ministry)

Gantz said that “the Biological Institute is currently engaged in a lifesaving national mission, and it is our duty to provide it with the means to do so.”

“In the Institute’s plans, we will continue to monitor the process closely and support it together with all parties in the government and in full cooperation with the Ministry of Health,” Gantz concluded.

Earlier this month, Gantz visited the Institute in Nes Ziona and announced that they had reached the stage of testing on humans.