The Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University launched clinical trials of the potential Covid-19 vaccine on 38 paid volunteers in June. Around the same time, Russia’s military began a parallel two-month clinical trial of the same vaccine developed by the state-run Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Elena Smolyarchuk, chief researcher for the Russian Center for Clinical Research on Medications at Sechenov University, told TASS newswire on Sunday that human trials for the vaccine had been completed and those test patients will be discharged soon.
“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 was quoted as saying in the report.
The volunteers, aged 18 to 65, will be monitored for six more months after their release.
Earlier in July, Smolyarchuk said that some participants experienced typical responses to injections, such as headaches and an elevated body temperature, which resolved within 24 hours.
“The Russian Health Ministry will make a decision on the substance effectiveness based on the results of” biochemical tests, the university said in a July 3 press release.
The ministry “hopes to finalize the trials … before fall,” it added.
Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, Brazil and India. The Kremlin has previously said the nation’s scientists are working on almost 50 different vaccine projects, while scientists have said developing a vaccine is “a question of national prestige.”
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