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Russian Sputnik V covid vaccine is undergoing Phase 3 trials
Russian Sputnik V covid vaccine is undergoing Phase 3 trials

Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered to all Russian regions on 14 Sept: Official

  • The development comes after a week of Russia releasing the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine into civil circulation
  • Meanwhile, Russian children have returned to schools after attending classes online since the coronavirus pandemic swept the country in late March

The first batch of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' is likely to be delivered to all regions of the country by Monday, 14 September, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told reporters, according to news agency TASS.

"The first batches of the vaccine for testing the supply chain have already been shipped, we are now checking the delivery system so that the staff gets to know it. The first small batches have already been shipped to all regions, the Leningrad region will also receive [the vaccine] among the first ones. In fact, the first samples of the vaccine will be delivered by Monday," Murashko said.

The development comes after a week of Russia releasing the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine into civil circulation, the Russian Health Ministry informed.

Sputnik V Covid vaccine, which is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology under the Russian Health Ministry, may be granted permission to release a batch of its vaccine for civilian use, the institute’s deputy director for research, associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Denis Logunov said earlier, according to a report.

A Phase III trial is a large-scale one involving thousands of people - in Russia, 40,000 - over a longer stretch of time.

RDIF said on Friday that more than one billion people would receive its COVID-19 vaccine "Sputnik-V" in 2020-21, the Interfax news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Russian children have returned to schools after attending classes online since the coronavirus pandemic swept the country in late March.

Moreover, country's sovereign wealth fund CEO on Saturday said he's 'delighted' that AstraZeneca has resumed trials of its Covid-19 vaccines but said the suspension of trials "clearly showed fallacy of their approach".

"Delighted that AstraZeneca has resumed trials. Suspension of trials clearly showed fallacy of the approach, when entire countries exclusively rely on novel and untested platforms when choosing a vaccine for widespread use, including the use of a monkey adenovirus vector or mRNA technology," said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after receiving the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said on Saturday.

On August 11, Russia became the first country to license a Covid-19 vaccine, calling it "Sputnik V" in homage to the world's first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union. But western experts have warned against its use until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken. The vaccine is undergoing Phase 3 trials.

The vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published by The Lancet medical journal earlier that were hailed by Moscow as an answer to its critics.

The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100% of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side effects, The Lancet said.

However, a group of international scientists questioned results from the Lancet medical journal, saying some of the findings appeared improbable, reported Bloomberg.

The researchers flagged concerns over seemingly identical levels of antibodies in a number of study participants who were inoculated with the experimental vaccine. This and other patterns in the data present “several different points of concern," according to an open letter written by Temple University professor Enrico Bucci and signed by more than a dozen other scientists.

Amid the reports of the potential vaccine, Russia registered 5,449 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, which brings the cumulative total to 1,062,811, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Sunday.

"Over the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 5,449 COVID-19 cases in 84 regions, of which 1,238 (23.5 per cent) have been detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response centre said in a statement.

With inputs from agencies

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