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Israel says to trial Covid-19 vaccine from next month

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JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel will begin its first clinical trials of a novel coronavirus vaccine next month, authorities said Sunday (Oct 25), as the country grapples with a second wave of infections.

Early in the pandemic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tasked the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) with developing a vaccine against the virus.

Covid-19 has killed over 2,370 people in the Jewish state since the start of the outbreak there, and has infected more than 300,000, according to official figures.

On Sunday, authorities announced that the first clinical trials of the “BriLife” vaccine would begin on Nov 1, as a spokesperson for the defence ministry said the “necessary approvals” had been granted.

The trials will be conducted over several months.

“Our final goal is 15 million rations for the residents of the state of Israel and for our close neighbours,” IIBR head Shmuel Shapira was quoted as saying in a statement.

Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, which has killed over 1.1 million people.

Several dozen vaccine candidates are currently being tested in clinical trials, ten of which are in the most advanced Phase 3 stage involving tens of thousands of volunteers.

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