Health Care

Kazakhstan secures supplies of Russian COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Moderna is one of the leading U.S. contenders in the race to develop a safe, effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

The first patient to receive a dose was 37-year-old Cincinnati resident Jarelle Marshall.

According to a report by Daily Mail Online, elderly volunteers who were administered the vaccine produced not just high levels of neutralizing antibodies but also managed to produce T cells- type of white blood cells binding and killing the virus.

The vaccine should begin producing a viral antigen which will activate a response in the body's immune system. Globally, there have been 23,491,520 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 809,970 deaths, reported to WHO. All age groups also seemed to produce the same immune response - a good sign, as older people often have weaker responses to vaccines.

All the 120 participants in the first human trial of the vaccine, healthy adults aged between 18 and 55, have received at least one dose with no safety concerns so far.

In addition to high levels of antibodies, the vaccine did not appear to result in any severe side effects, according to the Massachusetts-based company said.

The most common adverse reactions were fatigue, chills, headache and myalgia.

More news: Iran, UN Watchdog Agree on Inspection of Suspected Nuclear Sites

The data will be presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting on Wednesday.

The results have not been published yet, but the company says it plans to submit them for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The Russian COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, was developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry and officially registered by the Russian government on 11 August.

For example, in its July agreement with Pfizer, the USA announced that it was purchasing up to 100 million doses (with an option for 500 million more), at a cost of US$1.95 billion ($2.58 billion). The deal allows the government to buy another 400 million doses if the jab proves successful.

Shares of the drug developer rose more than 7% to $71.35 after the data.

Professor Saul Faust, Director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, said: "It is especially exciting that the clinical trial will test giving the vaccine through people's skin using a device without any needles as together with stable DNA vaccine technology this could be a major breakthrough in being able to give a future vaccine to huge numbers of people across the world".

Russian Federation tested and registered Sputnik-V in record time, raising safety concerns with phase-3 trials yet to be concluded. About 18 percent of the total participants are Black, Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, groups that are the hardest hit by the pandemic.

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