Israeli Government Research Institute Says Tests of Its COVID-19 Vaccine Have Worked on Hamsters

June 22, 2020
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – MARCH 20: Israeli medical worker holds a swab test for coronavirus at a drive-through site during a presntation for the press before opening on March 20, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Researchers at an Israeli government center say that tests of a coronavirus vaccine have been successful on hamsters and the vaccine could be ready by the end of winter if human trials are allowed in the coming weeks.

The country’s Ministry of Health must approve the start of the human trials by the Israel Institute for Biological Research, Israel’s Channel 12 News first reported.

The vaccine developed at the institute in central Israel uses a VSV virus, which does not cause the disease in humans, according to the report. The VSV virus uses genetically engineered proteins that make up the crown of the coronavirus, and when the body identifies the fake coronavirus it begins to manufacture COVID-19 antibodies.

None of the hamsters that received the vaccine became sick with the coronavirus, according to the report.

The report noted that a vaccine being developed at Oxford University could be approved for use in specific cases as early as October, and one being developed by the American biotech company Moderna also is promising.

Israel signed a deal last week with Moderna to purchase its vaccine should trials be successful, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a meeting of the government’s so-called Coronavirus Cabinet. No details on the deal were released.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Are We Going to Stop for Lunch?

So far, the American Jewish community has been exceptional in its support for Israel. But there is a long road ahead, and the question remains: will we continue with this support?

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Hollywood’s “Meeting of the Masters” Brunch

Guy Shalem’s Meeting of the Masters is more than just a dinner club; it’s a testament to the power of food, conversation, and community in bringing people together and creating a space where everyone, regardless of background or belief, can find common ground and friendship.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.