JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem is working to bring some 1.5 million doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine candidate to Israel in the coming months, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Hadassah has received confirmation it can purchase the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and hospital officials are working to register the candidate with the Health Ministry no later than early next week. If the ministry approves the vaccine, the hospital will be allowed to begin administering it to Israelis within two or three months, Hadassah director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein told The Jerusalem Post.
CBN News previously reported that the Israeli hospital is involved in developing the Russian vaccine and is collaborating with Moscow scientist on Sputnik V’s Phase III trials.
“The Hadassah hospital is involved in the clinical research on the new Russian vaccine. It is being done in Moscow, in Skolkovo at the Hadassah hospital there. We are first of all checking the safety level, it will take time,” Rotstein told Israel’s Radio 103FM in August.
An article published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet in September showed that Sputnik V produced an antibody response in 100% of the early trial participants.
The Russian vaccine is based on a weakened version of coronavirus itself, which could make it more effective at triggering a robust immune response.
Some western doctors have expressed doubt about how quickly and carefully the Russian candidate was made.
Rotstein insists it is “not right to be skeptical.”
“There are a lot of accusations regarding Russian technology and science. But if you remember, the fact that they called it Sputnik V is to say to the world, ‘Remember who was first in space.’ Russia could be very advanced,” he told The Post.
Rotstein said Hadassah is considering opening a vaccine manufacturing facility in Jerusalem to give more Israelis access.
Meanwhile, Israel has just begun human trials on its own coronavirus vaccine candidate. Two volunteers were inoculated with the vaccine. If the candidate proves successful, testing will expand to 80 people throughout November.
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