Russia’s Sechenov University has – in what it claims to be a world first – successfully completed human trials of a coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported on Sunday.
“Sechenov University has successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus,” said Vadim Tarasov, director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology. He added that the first group of volunteers will be released on July 15 and the second group on July 20.
The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya epidemiology research center in Moscow. The testing of the vaccine was jointly conducted by military and civilian institutions. The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that the first human trials indicated that the vaccine has successfully led to immunity.
Alexander Lukashev, director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases at Sechenov University told Sputnik that the vaccine has also proved to be safe. Lukashev said the first group of volunteers received one, while the second group two doses of the vaccine, with the only negative reaction a fever in the first few days after injection.
The two groups of volunteers will remain under observation after release.
Several other companies are also reported to be developing a vaccine, including Pfizer, Gilead Sciences and Moderna in the United States and Oxford University. The vaccine developed by Pfizer and Biontech are likely to seek regulatory approval before the end of the year. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 21 vaccines in various stages of trial around the world.
According to the latest data, Russia has the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases (727,172) after the United States (3,413,995), Brazil (1,866,176) and India (879,487).
Title image: Coronavirus vaccine candidate in Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)