The Israeli Defense Ministry on Sunday announced that the nation’s coronavirus vaccine attempt has successfully been granted the green light to carry out human trials, starting November 1st, 2020. If all goes well, it is speculated that the vaccine may be made available in spring next year, which is when most of the vaccines from across the globe are expected to appear.
Scheduled to go underway in three stages, the Israel Institute for Biological Research will begin the first phase of the human testing process of their COVID-19 vaccine with two participants, which will eventually be increased to 80, by the end of November. If the first phase is cleared without glitches or anomalies, and if the chosen volunteers develop antibodies against the virus, the second leg of the testing will expand to 960 people come December.
This being the second phase of the human trials, if everything goes well, the vaccine will go on to the third phase of the trials, wherein the shots will be administered to around 30,000 people in April or May 2021. Eventually, if the vaccine works well and there are no significant side effects, it will then be approved for full use in the general population soon afterward.
As mentioned by Israel’s Defense Ministry, the trials will be conducted at two hospitals: Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv and Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where participants will receive an injection, either the vaccine or a placebo. Following standard protocol, after undergoing a few hours of observation, they will be allowed to go home and will be monitored over a period of three weeks to check for side effects and to ensure that those given the vaccine developed antibodies against the virus.
Citing the announcement as a proud moment for the nation, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz lauded the efforts of medical professionals, saying “I would like to thank the dozens of researchers who work day and night on this national mission in full cooperation with the Health Ministry. In this complex period, you are the ‘commando unit’ paving the way for the citizens of Israel. You took on a mission of international and historical importance.”
The single-dose vaccine is being deemed to have immense potential and has produced 25,000 doses for the first and second phases of the human trials. If and when successful, Israel’s Defense Ministry has claimed that the country would readily be able to produce around 15 million doses of the vaccine.