Home / Science / Health /  Russia 'temporarily' stops COVID-19 vaccine phase III trial, says report

In a set back to Vladimir Putin's mega plan to roll out shots by the end of the year, Russia has temporarily stopped coronavirus vaccine trial due to shortage of doses, news agency Reuters said.

"It's related to the fact that there's colossal demand for the vaccine and they are not producing enough to keep up," said the representative of Crocus Medical, the contract research organisation that is helping run the trial in Moscow together with Russia's health ministry, Reuters reported.

Staff in eight of the 25 Moscow clinics hosting the trial told Reuters the vaccination of new participants in the Phase III study had been temporarily paused

The trial will resume by 10 November, according to reports.

President Vladimir Putin earlier said Russia was facing challenges scaling up production of its main COVID-19 vaccine due to problems with equipment availability, but hoped to start mass vaccinations by the end of the year.

Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine in August. Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry, the vaccine underwent necessary tests, Russia claimed. Russia health ministry claimed that the coronavirus vaccine offers lasting immunity from the virus.

Early results from trials of Russia’s potential coronavirus vaccine show no major negative side effects, a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet revealed.

The clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine involving 40,000 volunteers are currently ongoing. More than 55,000 volunteers have applied to take part in post-registration trials.

Russian Direct Investment Fund inked a deal with Dr Reddy's Laboratories to conduct a clinical trial and distribution of Sputnik V in India. Under the agreement, Russia's sovereign wealth fund will supply 100 million doses of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine to Indian drug maker. Dr Reddy's will soon start the phase II trial of Sputnik V in the country.

Russia registered its second coronavirus vaccine in October. Developed by Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, the EpiVacCorona vaccine completed its early stage human trials last month. The Vector Research Center obtained the Russian Health Ministry’s permit to conduct clinical trials of its vaccine on volunteers in July.

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