Phase I of the first clinical trial with Brilife, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research, was completed at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on November 26, when the 40th participant received the final dose.

Participants ranged in age from 18 through 55 and did not have any pre-existing illnesses. They are being closely monitored by Hadassah staff through medical examinations, phone calls, and a dedicated phone app, which they use to report their health status to Hadassah.

Hannah Drory, the clinical study coordinator at Hadassah’s Center for Clinical Research, where the vaccine is being administered, reported that “communication with the participants has been excellent, and their cooperation has been wonderful.”

Prof. Yossi Karko, director of the center, explained the success to date: “From monitoring the participants who have been vaccinated so far, we see no unusual side effects, and this seems promising in terms of safety, which is the point of the first stage of the experiment. We can now look forward to the next stage.”

Phase I of the trial is also being conducted at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center. In the much larger Phase II trial, which will begin soon, Hadassah and Sheba plan to enroll individuals aged 18 through 85, including some people with pre-existing conditions.

“Ahead of my last birthday, I realized that all I wanted was to do some good in this world,” noted Hava Cohen Ayoubi (in the picture), age 30, from the southern Hebron hills. “My fears dissipated as soon as I entered the center,” she said. “The staff was extremely professional and careful. I’m really pleased I did this.”

Hava added, “If you want to join the next stage of the trial, just get in touch with the center and do a little something for the world.”