Israeli COVID vaccine trial volunteers asked to get Pfizer booster

Four cohorts of between 200 and 250 volunteers were administered low, medium, high or a top dose of the vaccine or a placebo.

Hadassah-University Medical Center's Prof. Yossi Karko (left) and Hannah Drori, chief of the hospital’s clinical research center, administer Brilife vaccine to a volunteer (photo credit: HADASSAH)
Hadassah-University Medical Center's Prof. Yossi Karko (left) and Hannah Drori, chief of the hospital’s clinical research center, administer Brilife vaccine to a volunteer
(photo credit: HADASSAH)

All of the nearly 900 participants in the Phase II trial of Israel’s BriLife coronavirus vaccine candidate have been recommended to get a Pfizer booster shot once six months have passed from the time they were inoculated with the experimental vaccine, according to Prof. Yossi Caraco, director of Hadassah-University Medical Center’s clinical research unit.

“There was a decision taken recently that all those participating in the study, even if they got an efficient dose and developed sufficient antibodies, are being invited to get the booster shot,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

“This is still an investigational vaccine, so participants are being recommended to get the Pfizer vaccine,” he added.

Caraco has been serving as the national principal investigator for the Phase II trial.

THE HADASSAH-UNIVERSITY Medical Center campus is seen in Ein Kerem. (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)THE HADASSAH-UNIVERSITY Medical Center campus is seen in Ein Kerem. (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)

Although the results of the trial are “promising, we do not want to endanger our participant,” he said. “Getting a commercial vaccine is really important.”

The last volunteer in the Phase II trial of the vaccine was dosed earlier this month. In total, four cohorts of 200-250 volunteers were administered low, medium, high or a top dose of the vaccine or a placebo. The results of the Phase II trial have not yet been published.

A separate Phase IIb trial is expected to launch in Georgia by November and is being run by the American pharmaceutical company NRx.