At the invitation of the Argentinian government, a Hadassah mission from Israel has arrived in Argentina. The delegation from the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem will work with the Argentine authorities to investigate the opportunity of developing a Phase III trial of the Israeli Brilife vaccine against COVID-19 in Argentina. They will also be sharing their medical expertise and experience in dealing with the pandemic.

Hadassah’s mission arose from conversations initiated by Jorge Diener, executive director of Hadassah International, and the Argentine ambassador to Israel, Sergio Urribarri, based on discussions with Foreign Minister Felipe Solá and President Alberto Fernández.

From l to r: Jorge Diener, Prof. Sigal Sviri, Claudia Poggi, Prof. Yoram Weiss

“We are working on mutual cooperation at different levels,” Diener stated.

“One of them is a Phase III trial of the Brilife vaccine that was developed jointly between Hadassah and the Israeli Institute for Biological Research. We are not yet at the level of agreements (with Argentina). We are exploring the options and strategic meetings are planned for this week to confirm this possibility,” he added.

The Argentine-Israeli collaboration with Brilife would involve not only the trials and confirmation that the vaccine is safe and effective but also the production of the vaccine at an industrial level in Argentina. Israel needs a partner from abroad as there is currently no mass production of the vaccine in Israel. Argentina would then be able to use the vaccine at home and export it to other countries around the world.

The Hadassah team will also hold counseling sessions and joint dialogues with Argentinian professionals, both health and medical authorities at the highest level, and in public hospitals.

Hadassah currently has collaboration agreements with two national Argentine hospitals: Garraham and Cemic. They were signed before the pandemic and now they are being implemented at a very strategically important moment.

“The roadmap for the Hadassah Mission begins with meetings with the Argentine authorities at the highest level. From there, it will go to the technical and professional teams for analysis and recommendations so that our team can understand the Argentine situation and, from there, give its input and generate new ideas based on the successful experience that Israel has had so far in the management of the Coronavirus pandemic,” Diener explained.

At the Ben Gurion International Airport, before departure. From l to r: Jorge Diener, Prof. Sigal Sviri, Claudia Poggi, Prof.Yoram Weiss, and Andres Rojas, Manager of the Cultural Unit at the Argentinian embassy in Israel.

“This includes visits to hospitals, training, and discussion forums. Finally, there will be a plan of recommendations and concrete steps for the development of the vaccine and other drugs, as well as future cooperation. All this will take time,” he stated.

The first contingent of the Hadassah delegation was greeted upon arrival in Buenos Aires by the Hadassah International director of development for Latin America, Fanny Ribak. They will stay until at least Friday, May 14th. The delegation is headed by Professor Yoram Weiss, director of Hadassah Ein Kerem (the Israeli hospital that served the most COVID-19 patients during the pandemic) and is made up of Jorge Diener; Professor Sigal Sviri, director of Hadassah’s Intensive Care Unit for Covid-19, and nurse Claudia Poggi, who worked as a Nursing Specialist in complex COVID-19 care at the Hadassah Hospital.

Also joining will be Professor Dror Mevorach, head of one of the hospital’s COVID units and inventor of Allocetra, a treatment for the disease that has shown very good results, and Professor Yoseph Caraco, director of Hadassah Clinical Research, who is in charge of the Brilife vaccine, developed by the Israel Biological Research Institute, and represented in this delegation by Eran Zahady.


Main photo caption: Very warm welcome reception of the Hadassah delegation at the Residence of Sergio Uribarri, the Argentinian Ambassador to Israel. From left to right: Alejandro Kelman president of Hadassah Argentina, Claudia Poggi Hadassah ICU nurse, Jorge Diener HI Executive Director, H.E. ambassador Sergio Urribarri and Mrs. Urribarri, Prof. Sigal Aviri, Prof. Yoram Weiss, and Fanny Ribak HI Development Director for Latin America.



Watch Jorge Diener speaking about the Hadassah delegation to Argentina:


Watch an interview in Spanish on the Argentinian Television Publicas Noticias TVP with Jorge Diener, HI Executive Director

“Israel analyzes conducting vaccine trials in Argentina”

Argentinina media coverage about the Hadasah delegation: