Russia approves second Covid-19 vaccine

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

Bottles with Russia's 'Sputnik-V' vaccine against the coronavirus disease are seen before inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia.

Third vaccine also round the corner, confirms Russian President Vladimir Putin

Even as Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is poised to undergo clinical trials in India, a second Covid-19 vaccine, ‘EpiVacCorona’, has been approved by the Russian health authorities.

The vaccine developed by the ‘Vector’ centre has been registered, said Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to foreign media reports. In fact, he even indicated a third coronavirus vaccine was round the corner, developed by the Chumakov Centre, which is likely to be registered in the near future.

The developments come even as sections of the scientific community call into question the vaccine’s safety and shortened clinical development processes.

Russia’s second vaccine is a peptide synthetic vaccine based on a recombinant virus. “Such vaccines mimic certain parts of the pathogen they are designed to protect from, making the human body produce antigens capable of fighting the real virus,” according to the Sputnik news agency.

The Russian President further said that production needed to be increased on the first and second vaccine. And while they were looking to first cater to the domestic market, they would also work with foreign partners to increase their output, another report said quoting the President.

Alliance in India

Russia has an ongoing alliance in India for its first Covid-19 vaccine, Suptnik V. About a month ago, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said they would collaborate to undertake clinical trials and distribution of the vaccine in India. A spokesperson for the Russian sovereign wealth fund had then confirmed with BusinessLine that they were in talks with “a number of Indian companies” for the manufacture of Sputnik V.

Sputnik V was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. On August 11, it was registered by their Health Ministry, making it the world’s first registered vaccine against Covid-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors platform, RDIF had then said.

Vaccine 2, and 3

The Siberia-based ‘Vector’ State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology is among Russia’s largest research and production biotechnology complexes. And its expertise is in studying infectious pathogens to fight diseases and provide biological security.

While in the case of Sputnik V, President Putin’s daughter had reportedly taken the vaccine, here Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova is reported to have taken the vaccine and has not suffered any side effects. The first 60,000 doses are said to be produced soon.

Citing details from Vector, the report said the second vaccine differed from the first in terms of the target group and the number of injections needed for lasting immune response. Large-scale trials on the second vaccine are expected to include people over 60 years, indicating that it could be given to older people.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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