As several countries battle a surge in coronavirus cases, Russia has planned to be the first in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine by August 10, in less than two weeks, CNN reported.
Referring to 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union, Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, was quoted as saying, “It is a Sputnik moment.” Russia’s sovereign wealth fund is financing vaccine research.
“Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik’s beeping. It is the same with this vaccine. Russia will have got there first,” he added.
The CNN reported that Russia is planning for approval of the vaccine by August 10, which has been created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute.
It will be approved for public use, with frontline healthcare workers getting it first, Russia reportedly said.
As per reports, the Russian vaccine is yet to complete its second phase while some vaccines being researched worldwide are already in the third phase of trials.
The Russian Defense Ministry has reportedly said that the soldiers have participated in volunteering in the human trials.Alexander Ginsburg, the director of the project, was quoted as saying that he has already injected himself with the vaccine.
This past Sunday, Russia’s Sechenov University announced that it had successfully completed clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Russia’s Defense Ministry’s Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Alexander Lukashev, the director of Sechenov’s Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases, told Sputnik that the trials had established the vaccine’s safety on human health.
“This was only the first stage of trials — to test [the vaccine’s] safety on human health. One has to understand that it is far from being the end of trials, those will continue. But it was encouraging and made it clear that Russia has the necessary technological potential,” Schelkanov said.
According to the virologist, a biological preparation has to go a long way with several phases of trials before it can begin industrially produced as a ready vaccine in quantities enough to cater for an entire population.
“The soonest we will launch the industrial production is in the fall, only if all phases of trials go perfectly well. But making forecasts is inappropriate. In biotechnology, it is a rare phenomenon for everything to go perfectly,” Schelkanov said.
According to the World Health Organization’s protocols, a vaccine has to go through three phases of studies to be approved for large-scale production.