Israel starts human trials on COVID-19 vaccine as schools slowly reopen

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel began human trials on Sunday for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate which, if successful, could be ready for the general public by the end of next summer.

Eighty volunteers will initially take part in the trial that will be expanded to 960 people in December. Should those trials succeed a third stage with 30,000 volunteers is scheduled for April/May.

“We are in the final stretch,” said Shmuel Shapira, Director General of the Israel Institute for Biological Research.

The institute, which is overseen by the Defense Ministry, began animal trials for its “BriLife” vaccine in March and announced a week ago it had received regulatory approval to take it to the next stage.

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