Home >Science >Health >Second human trials of Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine start in UAE

Amid the buzz to develop a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, human trials of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine have begun in the United Arab Emirates, the Kremlin said on Monday in a statement while detailing a phone call between President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, reported Reuters.

The trials in the UAE are the second trials of the Sputnik V vaccine abroad, following the launch of trials in Belarus. Similar trials are also expected to begin in Venezuela in the near future.

Nonetheless, Russia’s vaccine is controversial with experts around the world questioning its efficacy and safety.

However, none of the 2,000 volunteers inoculated with both portions of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V have contracted the disease, the head of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology told Russian news agency Sputnik on Monday, refuting media reports.

Sputnik V Covid vaccine is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology under the Russian Health Ministry.

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.

Meanwhile, Russia has registered 13,592 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from the record-high 13,634 on Sunday, taking the cumulative case total to 1,312,310, the country's coronavirus response centre said on Monday.

With agency inputs

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