Russia will start the production of its COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks, the country’s health minister Mikhail Murashko said.
“First of all, the production facilities in Russia will be oriented towards the domestic market, to meet the need of our citizens,” Murashko said during a news conference on Wednesday (12 August), Xinhua news agency reported.
Russia will offer the vaccine to other countries when it has sufficient amounts, the minister said, adding that foreign nations’ doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine are unfounded.
The platform where the vaccine was created has been thoroughly studied and its authors have accumulated a sufficient amount of scientific data to guarantee its safety, he added.
The world’s first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday during an online meeting with government officials.
The President said his daughter was one of those who had been vaccinated.
The vaccine, named Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, alongside the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Russia’s vaccine is based on the DNA of a SARS-CoV-2 type adenovirus, a common cold virus. The vaccine uses the weakened virus to deliver small parts of a pathogen and stimulate an immune response. Russia has so far made public the results of phase-I of the clinical trials involving 76 volunteers, with majority recruited from the military. Half of the participants were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder.
The information on Phase III human trials, where the potential vaccine is tested on tens of thousands of people for its effectiveness in real-life situations, is still unclear.
Russia plans to produce at least five million doses of the vaccine a month from December through January, according to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center.
He said that the Centre is also preparing documents to obtain permission to test the vaccine on children.
The vaccine for children will be the same as the one for adults, but will likely be administered in a different dosage, requiring additional testing, Gintsburg added.
So far, Russia has tallied a total of 902,701 COVID-19 cases, including 15,260 deaths and 710,298 recoveries.
(With inputs from IANS)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.