Israeli gov’t says potential COVID-19 vaccine to start human trials

Oct. 26 (UPI) — An Israeli COVID-19 vaccine candidate will begin human clinical trials next week, researchers said.

The candidate, Brilife, has been approved by the health ministry and the Helsinki Committee for medical experiments on humans, the government’s Israel Institute for Biological Research said Sunday.

Institute director Shmuel Shapira said he’s confident about the potential vaccine.

“I believe in it and in the ability of the institute scientists who developed it,” he said.

The institute said the trial will consist of 80 people, half at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and half at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.

“This is a day of hope for the citizens of Israel,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said. “Just two months ago, I received the first bottle of the vaccine. Today, we already have 25,000 vaccine doses.”

If the first trials are successful, the institute said it will follow up with almost 1,000 volunteers in the second stage, which could start as early as December. The second phase would concentrate on safety and proper dosages.

A third phase would take place in the spring, with as many as 30,000 volunteers.

Brilife joins several other potential coronavirus vaccines in development.

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