Photo Credit: NIAID-RML / flick
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like.

Scientists at the Ness Ziona Biological Institute have moved another step closer to developing a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Researchers recently completed a successful mouse experiment that was part of the vaccine development process, according to a report broadcast on Israel’s Channel 12 television news.

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Under the conditions of the trial, two groups of mice were used – one that received the vaccine and another that did not. Both were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The unvaccinated mice became sick, and the vaccinated mice did not, the scientists told Channel 12.

The vaccine will soon move ahead to another animal trial, after which the researchers can proceed to human safety trials, according to the report.

If progress is made and the vaccine develops at the desired rate, it is estimated that a vaccine may become available within a year, perhaps even less.

Efforts are also underway to seek a cure for COVID-19, according to the report. Researchers at the Institute have so far produced eight antibodies to fight the virus, for which they have registered an international patent.

The scientists are now trying to create an international cocktail out of these eight antibodies that can provide an effective antivirus treatment, they said, after which the Institute will turn to global companies for help in producing the cocktail in commercial quantities.

“This is another important step in the development of a cure,” said former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. “Biological staff are working around the clock to reach a solution that will save human lives.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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