Virology institute launches Russia's second COVID-19 vaccine human trial

Clay Curtis
August 1, 2020

In parallel to the phase-3 trials which are scheduled to start from 4th August onward, the frontline health workers in Russian Federation will receive Gamaleya Institute's COVID-19 vaccine once it gets the due approval from authorities, CNN reported.

China, where the virus originated, has largely brought its outbreak under control and has therefore had to turn to other countries to test its vaccines.

"I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone", he said.

"We are excited to see these pre-clinical data because they show our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate generated a strong antibody response and provided protection with a single dose", said Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson's chief scientific officer.

Shattock, who is leading the research on the vaccine at Imperial, said that "We are still doing research on it. Russian Federation will have got there first".

A separate state research facility in Moscow, the Gamaleya Institute, completed early human trials of an adenovirus-based vaccine earlier this month and expects to enter large-scale trials in August.

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Russian officials, as reported by CNN said that their scientific data is now being compiled and will be out for peer review and publication by early August.

Accordingly, the vaccine will be approved for public use and that frontline healthcare workers are to get it first.

Earlier, scores of Russia's business and political elite were given access to the experimental vaccine as early as April, according to people familiar with the effort, reported Bloomberg. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to World Health Organization data - including three developed in China and another in Britain.

The head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund that finances research on coronavirus vaccines called the Russian race to develop the world's first coronavirus vaccine "a Sputnik moment" and compared it to the launch of the world's first satellite in 1957 by the Soviet Union.

He added that the groups most at risk of COVID-19 infection, such as the elderly or those with health problems, will also be given priority with regard to the vaccine.

The team also noted that the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is on track to start a phase 3 efficacy trial in 30,000 participants in September.

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