Touted as the world's first Covid-19 vaccine being manufactured by Russia, the vaccine is now wrapping up its clinical trials while researches are widely stressing on the fact that the vaccine is both safe and reliable, according to a report.
"The clinical trials of the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus are ending at the Burdenko hospital […] Today, on July 20, the second and last group of volunteers comprising 20 people is being released from the military hospital," Sergey Borisevich, head of the 48th Central Scientific Research Institute of the Russian Defence Ministry, told Krasnaya Zvezda, the official newspaper of the Russian Defence Ministry, as reported by Sputnik News.
According to Borisevich, there is still a lot of research work ahead, but the results are already clear.
"Already today the test data confirms that, as a result of vaccination, the volunteers produced the necessary antibodies against the coronavirus and the vaccine components are safe," Borisevich said, adding that the antibodies are expected to remain in the human body for a long time, the report stated.
A day earlier, Russian health minister had also said they will make the coronavirus vaccine candidate available to general public before it clears the third and last phase of clinical trials, according to Sputnik News.
Moreover, according to a Bloomberg report, Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the government-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said researchers in Russia are testing two different types of adenovirus vectors in order to reduce the chances of pre-existing immunity reducing the vaccine’s effectiveness. That vaccine will start phase 3 trials in thousands of people on Aug. 3 in Russia as well as in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Dmitriev said. Russia could make 30 million doses domestically in 2020, and 170 million abroad, with five countries expressing interest in producing the vaccine and others willing to produce it, he said.
Earlier, Russia's Sechenov University announced that it had successfully completed clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine, developed by Russia's Defense Ministry's Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Alexander Lukashev, the director of Sechenov's Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases, told Sputnik that the trials had established the vaccine's safety on human health. It cleared the first stage of trials in a small group of volunteers on 15 July and the has wrapped up the second stage today, 20 July. Murashko described the outcome as "positive."
Last month, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Russian National Research Center, told the newspaper that the vaccine will give people protection against the virus for a period of over two years.
Amid the development news of the Covid-19 vaccine, scores of members of Russia’s business and political elite have been given early access to an experimental vaccine against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the effort, as the country races to be among the first to develop an inoculation, reported Bloomberg.
The Gamaleya vaccine, financed by the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund and backed by the military, last week completed a phase 1 trial involving Russian military personnel. The institute hasn’t published results for the study, which involved about 40 people, but has begun the next stage of trials with a larger group.
Meanwhile, Russia reported 5,940 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world.
In a daily readout, officials said 85 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,427.