Israel’s Mossad ‘brought’ a coronavirus vaccine from China to Israel to study it, Israeli media reported on Monday.
Israel’s foreign intelligence brought the vaccine to Israel “in recent weeks in order to study and learn from it,” according to a Jerusalem Post report, citing Israel’s Channel 12.
The report came as Israel announced developments in its domestic coronavirus vaccine development.
Israel’s coronavirus vaccine, research
Israel’s Institute for Biological Research announced Sunday that it will begin human testing for its coronavirus vaccine on November 1 after receiving regulatory approval.
Run by Israel’s Defense Ministry, the institute hopes to produce 15 million doses for both Israeli residents and “close neighbors,” director of the institute Dr. Shmuel Shapira told the Associated Press.
Israeli companies announced a partnership with companies in the United Arab Emirates in July to develop research and technology relating to COVID-19.
Two private UAE companies signed a “scientific and medical agreement” with two Israeli companies, state news agency WAM reported at the time.
The UAE is at the end of its Phase III clinical trials of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine that is expected to be available on the global market by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
The trial is a collaboration between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42.
Over 40 coronavirus vaccine candidates are in clinical trials worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Israel, a country of about 9 million people, has reported over 300,000 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 2,400 deaths