Health Care

Russia Aims for COVID-19 Vaccine by Mid-August

Russia Aims for COVID-19 Vaccine by Mid-August”

Displaying its Soviet-era like competitive spirit during the Coronavirus crisis, Russian Federation is reportedly aiming to approve its COVID-19 vaccine before mid-August for wider public use. However, concerns about its safety, effectiveness, and over whether the country has cut essential corners in development remain unclear, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Separately, Russia's Interfax news agency cited "an informed source" as saying the vaccine would be registered from August 10-12 and be administered from August 15 onwards. The vaccine, which has been created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, will be available for frontline healthcare workers first.

"It's a Sputnik moment", Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which is providing the money for Russian vaccine research, told CNN.

"Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik's beeping". It's the same with this vaccine.

More news: Desperate COVID-19 search goes into sewage

"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.

Unlike many other vaccine efforts, scientists say the recent monkey data shows that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, called Ad26, could be given as one shot rather than two. With human testing yet incomplete, Russia's claim to release the vaccine comes after political pressure from the Kremlin to portray Russian Federation as a global scientific force. Russian developers have scheduled to complete the second phase of clinical trials by 3rd August. That phase is expected to be finished by August 3, while the third phase is run in conjunction with the vaccination of medical workers.

Dozens of civilian and military volunteers who are in phase one of the vaccine trials were already released after showing good results. Russia's defense ministry says that Russian soldiers served as volunteers in human trials.

Stressing that the drug is being fast-tracked through approval because of the global pandemic and Russia's own severe coronavirus problem as the country now has more than 800,000 confirmed cases, Dmitriev said: "Our scientists focused not on being the first but on protecting people".

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