While the scientists from all around the world are trying to find a cure for COVID-19, Israeli scientists are expected to make an announcement in coming days that they have completed the development of the vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus, which is now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As per the local reports on Thursday, March 12, scientists at Israel's Institute for Biological Research, supervised by the Prime Minister's office directly, have recently had a breakthrough in terms of the understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the COVID-19 virus.
Coronavirus vaccine by Israel
Last month, it was revealed that the Institute for Biological Research (IBR) in Nes Tsiona, a subsidiary of the Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL), is in the final process of developing the COVID-19 vaccine, using their expertise in the past to develop a vaccine against avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).
Israel's Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis previously said that a coronavirus vaccine would be ready in just three weeks and be available within 90 days. He congratulated MIGAL on the so-called breakthrough and said, "I am confident that there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat."
However, it should be noted that the development process would require a series of tests and experiments that may take a few more months before the COVID-19 vaccine is effective or safe to use. The co-director of the US Centre for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital, Dr Peter Hotez testified before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and said that they had the vaccine in 2016 but due to funding issues they had to drop the plan of a clinical trial.
While testifying Dr Hotez also mentioned that a vaccine for this new Coronavirus would take time but "Unfortunately some of my colleagues in the biotech industry are making this inflated claims about vaccines coming in weeks."
Israel's fight against COVID-19
But, as reported by Israeli daily Ha'aretz, country's Defence Ministry stated: "There has been no breakthrough in the efforts of the biological institute to find a vaccine for the Coronavirus or to develop testing kits. The institute's work is conducted according to an orderly work plan and it will take time. If and when there will be something to report, it will be done in an orderly fashion."
In addition, he also said that the research institution is a well-known, famous agency which relies on experienced researchers and scientists and quality infrastructure. As per the minister, there are now over 50 experienced scientists who are currently working at IBR and developing a medical remedy for the virus.
It should be mentioned that after the new Coronavirus outbreak in China, it reached Israel where 131 people have been infected by the fast-paced virus. Israel's popular news portal, Ynet reported that five shipments of virus samples have arrived from Japan, Italy and other countries by a specially secured Defence Ministry courier to the IBR, and had been frozen at Minus-80 degree Celsius.