The vaccine, named Brilife vaccine, was developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein met with Harel at Sheba after he received the vaccine.
“The true exit from the coronavirus crisis is the development of vaccines and therefore this is a very important day,” Netanyahu said.
He said Israel was also working with pharmaceutical firms and other countries to import doses of a coronavirus vaccine, once one is approved for general use.
“What’s important is that by one means or another… we’ll bring enough vaccines for all Israeli citizens and then finally, with the help of God, we can be liberated from the pandemic,” the premier declared.
Netanyahu cautioned there would not be a vaccine available immediately, but said he could see “a light at the end of the tunnel.”
On Tuesday, the second group of volunteers will arrive at two hospitals to receive the vaccine. One in four of them will receive a placebo.
The first phase of the clinical trial is expected to last roughly a month and will involve some 80 volunteers ages 18 to 55.
The second phase in December will test roughly 1,000 volunteers ages 18 to 85 at eight hospitals around the country. In this phase, volunteers with preexisting conditions will be allowed to participate.
If that larger group responds well to the vaccine and antibodies are detected in their blood, injections will then be given to some 30,000 people in April or May 2021. If the vaccine works well and there are no significant side effects, it will then be approved for full use in the general population.