Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University) has launched clinical trials of a vaccine against coronavirus.
Eighteen volunteers have been vaccinated, Director of the university’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, Vadim Tarasov, said on Thursday.
“The first group of 18 participants of the experiment was finally selected, and on June 18 they were vaccinated,” the ministry said.
Nine volunteers were injected with one component of the vaccine, and nine others with the second component.
The vaccination was carried out under control of experienced specialists from Moscow’s Burdenko hospital in full accordance with the plan. The volunteers have not shown any signs of complications or side effects. In several days the remaining volunteers, who are currently isolated and are under medical surveillance, will be vaccinated.
“Study of a vaccine against the coronavirus infection was launched at Sechenov University of the Russian Ministry of Health. Thirty-eight volunteers take part in it, of whom 18 were vaccinated today. The vaccination of another 20 people is scheduled for the next week,” the press service of the Ministry of Health cited him as saying.
The volunteers will remain at a clinic of the university’s Center of Interventional Cardio-Angiology within 28 days under the control of medics. The male and female participants are aged 18 to 65 and come from different Russian cities. The vaccination is carried out with their written consent and with the compliance with all requirements of the Russian law and international rules of ethics.
“It is very important for us to study how efficiently the immunity develops. If after the vaccination the person remains in their habitual environment, a high risk remains amid the pandemic, and later it will be impossible to say what caused the immunity — the disease or the vaccine. For this, the volunteers stay at a clinic within 28 days, where they are isolated from other social contacts,” the press service quotes Tarasov as saying.
Results of the clinical trials of the novel coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, are expected by August.
Then the ministry will assess the results and will decide on whether it will be possible to use the vaccine.
In early June, the Defense Ministry reported that two groups of volunteers had been selected for clinical trials. The first group consists of servicemen and the second group comprises civilians. Some 50 military personnel, including five women, were selected to test safety and effectiveness of a vaccine from various units throughout Russia. All of them are contract servicemen, warrant officers, and officers from 25 to 50 years old. Among the 50 volunteers there are 10 medical workers.
The vaccine was tested on animals at the 48th Central Research Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry where vaccines against Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as a universal flu vaccine, had been studied and successfully tested.
Mass vaccination of Russian citizens against the novel coronavirus infection could be carried out this autumn and the process could take up to nine months, Director of the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg said.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than 8.3 mln people have been infected worldwide and some 445,000 people have died. To date, 561,091 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 313,963 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 7,660 fatalities nationwide.
Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 29, 2020: A healthcare worker performs laboratory tests detecting immunoglobulin class G (IgG) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood at the SklifLab laboratory of Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Care. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS