JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Monday it was beginning a second-phase trial with 1,000 people for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate which, if successful, could be ready for the general public by the end of next summer.
During the first stage, in which a vaccine developed by Israel’s Institute for Biological Research was tested in a group of 80 people, “no significant side effects were identified,” said the Defence Ministry, which oversees the institute.
The ministry’s statement did not give any other details about the results.
Having received approval from the Health Ministry to proceed, the second phase will be conducted over a period of several months on 1,000 healthy volunteers aged 18 and above.
“Scientists aim to complete vaccine safety precautions, determine effective dosage, and further determine the vaccine’s effectiveness,” the ministry said.
If successful, the vaccine candidate will enter a third and final trial with up to 30,000 volunteers in Israel and possibly abroad.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Dan Grebler)