World Race: How close are we really to the vaccine?


After a delay in the schedule, last night (Thursday) the outline presented at the Biological Institute in Ness Zioni was approved, which talks about dozens of people who will participate in the experiment when most of them are young. The way to develop an Israeli vaccine is slightly different from that of companies conducting human trials in the United States – where tens of thousands of people are tested in a quick and shortened procedure.

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According to the World Health Organization, 188 groups are currently working on a vaccine, with some reports suggesting a higher number. Of these groups, 139 groups are already in the initial stages of finding a vaccine – including the Biological Institute in Ness Ziona. It is worth noting that this is the only group from Israel that appears in the World Health Organization records in the context of developing a vaccine for the corona virus.

At the same time, 42 groups and companies are in the early stages of clinical trials in humans, and as of this moment, only 6 companies are in the third and extensive phase of a mass trial in tens of thousands of people. We must understand that this is the decisive stage, but remember that many drugs and vaccines developed with the support of huge investments – were rejected at this very stage. Among these 6 companies are Oxford and Moderna – with which Israel signed an agreement to purchase vaccines.

Two months ago, researchers at the Israel Biological Institute published a scientific paper describing the alleged success of the vaccine in a number of hamsters. The researchers said that the results in the hamsters pave the way for clinical trials in humans, and indeed these days the news has reached the transition to the next stage. And yet, this article was published almost two months ago, so if the product in question is indeed safe and promising – why wait any longer until the holidays pass?

As mentioned, the most advanced companies in the vaccine development process are on a fast and unprecedented trajectory, allowing them to skip some of the safety and efficacy tests. All this is a cause for concern not only among medical professionals but also among competitors in the industry. The CEO of the giant pharma company “Merck”, which is in much more advanced stages in technology similar to that of the Biological Institute, estimates that the vaccine is far from the impression created by such and other politicians – and the officials who serve them.

Last night, US President Donald Trump promised US citizens that there would be a vaccine for the corona virus on Election Day – which will take place in November. All we have to do until then is keep hope – and keep our fingers crossed that the long-awaited moment will come as quickly as possible.


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