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Russian, US scientists jointly study fundamental aspects of COVID-19 vaccine — academician

Scientists from Russia and several Western nations cooperate in solving the fundamental problems of creating a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Vice President Vladimir Chekhonin told TASS.

“As far as fundamental aspects of the vaccine production are concerned, we cooperate closely with a huge number of front-rank specialists both in America and Europe. We have mutual understanding,” he said.

“As far as production aspects are concerned – this is a matter of business. <…> One should keep in mind that it’s not a matter of scientific cooperation, it’s a matter of business and scientific teams have absolutely nothing to do with it,” the expert continued.

In Chekhonin’s opinion, a vaccine against COVID-19 should be expected by the start of the next year or so. Although some countries might get it earlier and others – a bit later, the timeframes will be largely similar worldwide.

He reiterated that several Russian organizations – both state-and privately owned, are already developing prototypes of the vaccine.

In late April, the World Health Organization included nine Russian vaccine prototypes into its list of promising options. These include six vaccines created by the Novosibirsk-based Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, two vaccines developed by the Biocad company and a vaccine made by the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums.

Overcoming the pandemic

According to the Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the decline in COVID-19 cases in Russia will be slow.

“I don’t think that the decline [in new cases] will be rapid. Although the epidemic process will probably lose its epidemic ‘structure,’ it will still be in place probably until mid-August. This is an opinion of leading epidemiologists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, with whom we had relevant discussions. This is an ambiguous point of view, there’s also an opinion that this period might be shorter and end by early August. There is also a group of specialists who believe that we would keep fighting the disease throughout August,” Chekhonin told TASS.

He went on to say that the Russian government heeds the advice of scientists and experts and promptly responds to COVID-19-related developments.

“The government makes decisions related to the novel coronavirus infection in an extremely promt manner, in some cases relevant decrees are ready within a few hours. For comparison: earlier, it took several weeks. The government listens to us, experts,” the scientist said.

He also said the government renders all possible assistance to scientists in their effort to develop new medicines, vaccines and testing kits.

Source: TASS

Published May 7, 2020