Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defence Minister

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday that clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine on humans would begin after the Jewish holidays in October.

Earlier in the day, Gantz visited the Israel Institute for Biological Research, where he was presented with advances in the development of the coronavirus vaccine and antibodies, according to the minister’s press service.

“First of all, I would like to thank the Defence Ministry staff and the employees of the institute who are doing a fantastic job.

“The next step, as we agreed, will be trialled on humans after the Tishrei holidays [these holidays finish in mid-October this year].

READ ALSO  4 more patients survive Coronavirus in Lagos, discharged

“This will be done in coordination with the Health Ministry and in accordance with all procedures required by medical safety,” Gantz said.

In late May, the Israel Institute for Biological Research announced that a significant breakthrough had been achieved in the development of a drug to treat COVID-19.

According to media reports, scientists informed then Defence Minister Naftali Bennett that the process of development of an antibody to the novel coronavirus had been completed.

The next step was to patent it and contact international companies that could produce it in commercial volumes.

Israel has so far confirmed more than 78,000 cases of COVID-19 and 569 fatalities.