The first volunteer for Israel’s new coronavirus vaccine has been released from hospital after receiving the initial dose in human trials, saying he feels “great” and hopes the “whole world” will soon benefit from the Israeli vaccine.
Fifteen-million shots of the vaccine, called Brilife are already being produced by the Defense Ministry-run Israel Institute for Biological Research.
“Hello everybody, good morning, thank you all for your support,” Segev Harel said after being released from the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on Sunday, The Times of Israel reported.
“I’m here after spending the night in Sheba Medical, and now I’m going home and I feel great, and I hope we will bring the vaccine to Israel and to the whole world.”
Eytan Ben-Ami, a Sheba doctor conducting the trial, told newspaper: “The first patient was kept in hospital for 24 hours to observe him in case of any adverse effects and there were none.
“Everything has been really smooth. It’s very early in the process, but until now, everything is going according to plan.”
A second volunteer who was inoculated also reported feeling well and had no symptoms or side effects.
The first phase of the clinical trial will last approximately a month and will involve some 80 healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, the report said.
The second phase beginning in December will vaccinate around 1,000 volunteers ages 18 to 85 at eight hospitals around the country. This phase will also allow volunteers with preexisting conditions to participate.
If that phase goes well and antibodies are detected in the volunteers’ blood, vaccinations will then be given to some 30,000 people in April or May 2021. Following that, it will receive approval for general use around July.
In May, the IIBR made headlines around the world for isolating an antibody that neutralizes the COVID-19 virus.