3 min read.Updated: 15 Aug 2020, 03:46 PM IST Written By Staff Writer
Russia's first coronavirus vaccine is developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry
Russian ministry said industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had made 'preliminary applications for over one billion doses'
After announcing the first Covid-19 vaccine, also touted as world's first such vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Russia has now began manufacturing the vaccine, according to a report, citing health ministry.
"The production of the vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has started", the statement said, as reported by Sputnik News.
Russia's first coronavirus vaccine is developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.
Russia has said the vaccine will be rolled out by the end of this month, according to Reuters. Some scientists said they fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.
Earlier, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a coronavirus vaccine dubbed "Sputnik V" after the Soviet satellite on 11 August, saying that the vaccine had underwent the necessary tests. He added that one of his two daughters has received a dose of the vaccine and is feeling well, according to Associated Press reports.
The announcement came in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide, thus, crippling world's economy.
Moreover, the chief of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which is financing and helping to coordinate the vaccine efforts, told reporters that Phase 3 trials on a large group of people would start on Wednesday.
Kirill Dmitriyev, who heads the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had made "preliminary applications for over one billion doses" of the vaccine, according to reports.
He said that along with foreign partners Russia was ready to manufacture 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries.
Moreover, a top Russian official said that the vaccine developed by the country will offer protection from covid for at least two years.
"Effective period of the vaccine, its protective properties will last not during a short term, half a year - one year but for at least two years," said Alexander Gintsburg, the director of Gamaleya research center, according to Russian news agency TASS.
Gintsburg, also said that volunteers taking part in the final stage testing of the vaccine's safety and efficacy would have two inoculations.
Russia has said that industrial production is expected from September and that it plans to manufacture 5 million doses per month by December or January.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said this week that the vaccine would first be made available to medics and would later be available to all Russians on a voluntary basis.
In April, Putin ordered state officials to shorten the time of clinical trials for a variety of drugs, including potential coronavirus vaccines.
However, various industry bodies and pharmaceutical companies have called Russia’s rushed registration dangerous. They have questioned its extensive push to develop a vaccine as soon as this year's end. The roll-out of this vaccine has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before science and safety.
However, the World Health Organization says the vaccine approved by Russia this week is not among the nine that it considers in the advanced stages of testing.
WHO and partners have included nine experimental COVID-19 vaccines within an investment mechanism it is encouraging countries to join, known as the Covax facility. The initiative allows countries to invest in several vaccines to obtain early access, while theoretically providing funding for developing countries.
“We don't have sufficient information at this point to make a judgment" on the Russia vaccine, said Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to WHO's director-general, as per reports.
“We're currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information to understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken and then what the next steps might be."
With more than 917,000 confirmed infections, Russia's coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.
Currently Russia has 92,000 people hospita
With inputs from agencies
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