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A Russian Covid-19 vaccine hits the tape?

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

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As companies across the globe step on the gas to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine, Russia says it has completed trials on its vaccine candidate, according to Russian news agency TASS.

“Clinical trials of vaccine against the novel coronavirus were completed on volunteers at Sechenov University, and the results of research proved the medication’s effectiveness,” chief researcher Elena Smolyarchuk is reported to have told TASS. This was tweeted by the Russian Embassy’s office in India.

“The research has been completed and it proved that the vaccine is safe. The volunteers will be discharged on July 15 and July 20,” Smolyarchuk, who heads the Center for Clinical Research on Medications at Sechenov University, told TASS. Further, the chief researcher added that the volunteers would be under medical supervision on an out-patient basis after being discharged.

The first stage of research on the vaccine at Sechenov University started on June 18, when 18 volunteers were vaccinated. The second group of 20 volunteers were vaccinated on June 23, the agency said.

A section of clinical researchers in India told BusinessLine that it was difficult to comment on the vaccine just yet without having data from the clinical trials.

The news of the Russian vaccine comes even as 150-odd vaccine candidates are in various stages of development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, China’s Sinovac had said it entered late-stage development of its vaccine in Brazil, foreign media reported.

India, too, has multiple candidates in the reckoning from Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech, Panacea Biotec and Serum Institute (which is also in a production and marketing collaboration with the AstraZeneca-Oxford University candidate).

The coming days will unravel how the Russian vaccine fares as it comes under scrutiny from the international scientific community.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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