Russia says its third Covid-19 vaccine is ‘almost ready’

Russia claims that it will have three vaccines by December 2020. However, the smaller trial size of each of its vaccines remains a concern to the global medical fraternity.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government.(via REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government.(via REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 15, 2020 05:04 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Russia announced its first vaccine Sputnik V in August becoming the first country to have come up with a Covid-19 vaccine. On October 14, the country approved a second Covid-19 vaccine. Reports said the country has claimed it has a third vaccine ready at Chumakov Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is an inactivated vaccine, which once approved will take the country’s vaccine number to three, and this is likely to happen by December 2020, reports said.

Russia at present is undergoing a second wave of Covid-19. On october 14, the country had 1,340,000 cases with an average daily increment rate of 1.1 per cent.

Here is all you need to know about Russia’s vaccines:

1. Russia is not doing large-scale trials of its vaccines and hence it has been able to announce two vaccines between August and September.

2. The first vaccine is Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine. President Vladimir Putin’s daughter was inoculated with the vaccine.

3. Post-registration clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine are going on involving 13,000 volunteers

4. The second vaccine is EpiVacCorona, a synthetic vaccine based on peptides, which is being touted as safer than Sputnik V. It consists of short synthetic peptide fragments of virus proteins, which the immune system can use to identify and neutralise the virus. It should be pointed out that the peptide-based vaccine does not induce any reactogenic responses and is noted for its high level of safety.

4. The clinical trials of the second vaccine involved 100 volunteers.

5. The first batch of 60,000 vaccine doses of the second vaccine will be produced in the near future. Vektor Centre, which developed the second vaccine, will launch post-registration clinical trials in a number of Russian regions involving 40,000 volunteers.

6. The second vaccine will be tried on 150 people aged over 60 to check its efficacy among older population.

7. The third vaccine has received permission to conduct the first and second stages of clinical trials at medical facilities in Novosibirsk, St Petersburg and Kirov. During the first stage, 15 volunteers were inoculated with this vaccine on October 6. They have not reported any serious complications or side effects.

8. The second stage of the third vaccine will begin on October 19 on 285 volunteers. The clinical trials of this vaccine are expected to conclude by December.

9. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova and Chief Sanitary Doctor Anna Popova have received the second vaccine to test its effectiveness. Both of them reported no side effects.

10. India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories was denied permission to conduct clinical trial of Russia’s first vaccine Sputnik V in India as Russia tested the vaccine among a small group and Dr Reddy’s proposed a larger size for the trial. Dr Reddy’s has again submitted a proposal to the Drug Controller General of India.

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