Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Ready,’ Military Says

A medical specialist wearing a protective suit waits for patients on SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test in mobile laboratory at the deserted business center Moscow City in Moscow, Russia. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

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The Russian military announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine which has not yet completed Phase II trials and is yet to begin Phase III is “ready.”

The Defense Ministry, which says it has worked with government researchers to develop the vector vaccine, on Monday released the last group of volunteer soldiers testing the experimental shot in its Phase I trials.

Vice Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov told the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper that military experts and the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology scientists have made “final assessments.”

“At the time of discharge, all volunteers without exception received immunity from the coronavirus,” he said.

“Thus, the first domestic vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection is ready,” Tsalikov said.

However, according to The Moscow Times Russia’s Health Ministry disputed the deputy defense minister’s characterization, saying the vaccine’s trials have not yet ended.

Alexei Kuznetsov, assistant to the health minister, said the ministry plans to work on the candidate vaccine’s state registration process after Phase II of the trials.

Kirill Dmitriyev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) funds the trials, has said he expects the 100-person Phase II trial to end in early August.

Dmitriyev said he hopes to produce 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine with foreign partners by the end of 2020. He said Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other countries would be involved in Phase III trials.

“Immediately after that we are planning to begin mass production,” Dmitriyev said in a statement on Russia’s state anti-coronavirus portal.

Read more via The Moscow Times

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