Sheba Medical Center and Hadassah-University Medical Center inoculated 80 volunteers with Brilife, Israel’s coronavirus vaccine, thereby completing the Phase I clinical trial. The vaccine was developed by the Israeli Institute of Biological Research, and about 40 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 to 55 received it at each of the two hospitals.
So far, all of the volunteers are feeling well. They have been monitored closely for any adverse side effects, and follow-up checks will continue.
The Phase II trial of Brilife is due to begin in hospitals across Israel within the next three weeks. During this stage, older adults and some people with preexisting medical conditions will be vaccinated.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin verified that his country is discussing the Israeli manufacture and distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V. At an inauguration ceremony for new ambassadors in Moscow last week, Putin spoke about Russia’s vaccine candidate, which was recently reported to have a 91.4% efficacy rate (based on its Phase III trial results). Putin remarked on the importance of an Israeli-Russian collaboration in the fight against coronavirus, “including the possibility of supplying and producing a Russian vaccine on Israeli soil.”
The ceremony was attended by Israeli Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Ben Zvi, and Putin also expressed how relations with Israel are “good and beneficial,” and that he is in regular contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Moscow branch of Hadassah University Medical Center has been participating in the Phase III trial of Sputnik V, and the option of manufacturing the vaccine in Israel is stated in the memorandum of understanding signed between both countries. At the same time, Rotstein is striving for Israel’s participation in the Phase III study (not just in Moscow), and to get the National Health Ministry’s authorization for Sputnik V to be used in Israel. His plans are to facilitate the purchase of 1.5 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to double that number to 3 million.