The death toll in Israel due to the coronavirus has now crossed 3,000 and is steadily growing. The Prime Minister of the country, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently announced that he is going to get vaccinated on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has given approval to the Israel Institute of Biological Research to launch the second phase clinical trials of their coronavirus vaccine candidate. Brilife is all set to enter Phase II clinical trials in the coming week.
The health funds have also taken to announce that vaccinations of the citizens of Israel will begin on the 23rd of December. The Sheba Medical Center revealed that the IIBR trial will be held on their premises in Tel Hashomer. Eventually, the trials will extend to various other centers all over the country.
Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, talked about this good news while addressing the public in a statement on Monday. He stated that the scientists at IIBR are the ‘elite unit’ of the country. He commended them on taking up the important task of saving human lives. According to the minister, the development of an Israeli vaccine will do great things for the progress of the country in years to come.
A spokesperson, on behalf of Sheba, further informed that the medical center will soon start intensive screening for the second phase of the trials. He added that they are working with the complete cooperation of the IIBR to research and report the potential of this revolutionary vaccine.
Further details revealed that the Phase II clinical trial will be conducted on at least 1,000 healthy volunteers. The people selected will be of ages 18 and over, and will also include senior citizens. The point of carrying out these trials is to ensure that all of the safety precautions of the vaccine are followed. In addition, the effective dosages will also be determined to observe the functionality of the vaccine.
The Phase I trial turned out to be a huge success when its data was thoroughly examined by both internal and external committees. The side effects reported were next to none. The institute stated that if the Phase II trial shows the same success as the first, they will initiate a large-scale launch of the trial to gather a broader range of data. This will also help the company ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine by testing it out on 30,000 or more volunteers.
Lastly, the vaccine will be moved towards Phase III of the trial in order to gain approval for production and eventually, the vaccination of the citizens of Israel.
Earlier, the institute had announced that they hope to make their vaccine candidate available by summer. However, the head of IIBR, Dr. Shmuel Shapira, revealed that ‘over regulation’ has stunted the progress of the Brilife vaccine. According to him, the vaccine is expected to reach Phase III by the month of April, after a difficult and long way.