Coronavirus: Why masks will STILL be needed, even after a successful vaccine

Grant Boone
July 30, 2020

The vaccine, which is being developed by Moscow-based research facility the Gamaleya Institute, is still in Phase II trials but is expected to complete this phase on August 3.

In the 2020 equivalent of the Space Race, Russia has announced its first potential COVID-19 vaccine will be released as early as August this year.

"And we will be soliciting information on whether the participants have evidence of sore arm, fever, muscle aches from the vaccine, and then will be evaluating for evidence of COVID infection throughout the study", Winokur said, stressing participants will be followed for two years "to see if they develop symptoms of COVID". Local researchers are now recruiting hundreds of participants to test the vaccine's effectiveness. There are many other companies racing to come out with a vaccine as the US grapples with a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Russia's defence ministry says that Russian soldiers served as volunteers in human trials.

Given that dozens of vaccine trials are underway around the world and a small number are in large-scale efficacy trials, most developers have cautioned that much work remains before their vaccines can be approved and can be rolled out for public use.

The vaccine, developed by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech, is now in the final phase of the federal approval process after limited trials showed no major risks. The firm said it did not have any comments on this development as of now.

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The two-dose course costs at least $11 more than that of the United States pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German counterpart BioNTech, which earlier clinched a deal with the U.S. government on a $39 vaccine.

Officials say their scientific data is now being compiled and will be made available for peer review and publication in early August.

Meanwhile, the Russian health ministry, which has not yet confirmed the August approval date, said that the frontline medical staff will be first to be vaccinated once the new drug has been approved for public use, whereas, the country's defence ministry said that Russian soldiers served as volunteers in human trials.

Despite the relatively quick progress of vaccine developers, some groups have expressed worry that poor countries won't have access to the vaccine, which are being developed in richer countries like the United States. In all the monkeys who got the high doses of the vaccine, no viral replication was detectable in their noses two days after being challenged with the virus, according to the study results.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking more than 140 candidate vaccines of which only 5 are in Phase 3 clinical trials.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said it was important to achieve a finished product in a "careful and balanced way".

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