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An employee demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus at a laboratory. (REUTERS)
An employee demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus at a laboratory. (REUTERS)

Russia plans mass vaccinations of 2nd Covid vaccine EpiVacCorona by 2021: Who will get it first?

  • For Russian citizens, vaccination will be voluntary and free
  • Also, medical, education and transport workers, police officers and others, whose work brings them into contact with large numbers of people, will have a chance to get vaccinated before others

Authorities in Russia were preparing for mass vaccinations against coronavirus by 2021 as the country’s second Covid-19 vaccine EpiVacCorona have proved to be “effective".

"A mass vaccination campaign is expected to begin in 2021," a Russian news agency quoted Director General Rinat Maksyutov of Vector centre, as saying.

Speaking to the Russian government’s Covid-19 information website, Maksyutov said that mass vaccination with a coronavirus vaccine developed by Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology is expected to take place in 2021.

For Russian citizens, vaccination will be voluntary and free, Maksyutov confirmed. The Director General of Vector centre also said that medical, education and transport workers, police officers and other employees, whose work brings them into contact with large numbers of people, will have a chance to get vaccinated before others.

Post-registration trials phase of Russia’s second Covid-19 vaccine will begin in November or December on around 40,000 volunteers, the report added.

"The launch of several post-registration trials is planned for November - December 2020. They will last six months from the date of inoculation of the last volunteer," Maksyutov said.

Benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine

The developer went on to say that one of the benefits of the Covid vaccine is its "effectiveness against genetically and antigenically distinct strains," since the preparation contains a part of a macromolecule of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen, recognised by the immune system.

"As opposed to a vector vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, and to an inactivated vaccine of the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the EpiVacCorona vaccine contains only short sequences of the viral protein, peptides, necessary for the formation of the immune response," the scientist explained.

Russia registered its second coronavirus vaccine on 14 October. The Vector Research Center obtained the Russian Health Ministry’s permit to conduct clinical trials of its vaccine on volunteers in July.

Last month while speaking to an investor forum in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said that all Covid-19 experimental vaccines produced by the country have proved effective and that he hopes to start mass vaccinations by end of this year.

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