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Israeli coronavirus vaccine ready to begin phase 2 trials

Israel’s Institute for Biological Research says it has successfully completed the first stage of its coronavirus vaccine and plans to expand its trials to some 1,000 volunteers for the next phase.

The first stage tested the Defense Ministry laboratory’s vaccine on 80 people out of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospitals and Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Center.

“During the first phase, no significant side effects were identified, and two expert committees, both internal and external, recommended the approval of the second phase. As such, the institute completed all the necessary preparations and is ready for the immediate launch of the second phase,” the Defense Ministry says.

Vials of a potential coronavirus vaccine are seen on an assembly line, in a photograph released by the Israel Institute for Biological Research on October 25, 2020. (Israel Defense Ministry)

The second phase of the clinical trials will begin in the coming days and will take place over several months, with approximately 1,000 volunteers taking part. This stage of the trial will again begin at the Sheba and Hadassah hospitals, but will gradually expand to other medical centers throughout the country.

“The scientists of the IIBR are Israel’s ‘elite unit,’ and have taken on an extremely important task — saving human lives. I see great importance in the development of an Israeli vaccine that will continue to serve Israeli society for years to come,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz says.

— Judah Ari Gross

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