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Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine trials reveal no serious side effects

No serious side effects have been identified in medical records of volunteers who took part in clinical trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine dubbed Sputnik V, Denis Logunov, the deputy research director at the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, said Thursday.

“The vaccine was administered to healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 60 and showed a very good profile of safety. Not a single serious side effect was registered,” he told an online conference discussing the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world.

According to Logunov, the most common side effects are pain in the injection spot, hypothermia in some volunteers and headache. “All these undesirable effects were qualified as insignificant,” the deputy director noted.

He added that just like in pre-clinical trials the center employees studied the vaccine’s efficiency by stimulation of immune response.

“[The research] showed that 100% of participating volunteers had developed antibodies in high quantities,” Logunov underlined.

“Moreover, 100% of volunteers developed virus-neutralizing antibodies,” he emphasized, adding that the clinical trials featured both types of the vaccine – freeze-dried and liquid.

On August 11, Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine named Sputnik V, which was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry. The injection passed clinical trials in June-July. The vaccine is based on an already known platform that was used to create a number of other injections.

According to Kirill Dmitriyev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia received preliminary applications to purchase more than one billion doses of the breakthrough vaccine from 20 countries. He noted that Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian countries are most interested in buying it, while a number of contracts has already been finalized.

Russia has announced that 40,000 people will participate in a medical trial of a vaccine against COVID-19. Test results will be evaluated by foreign investigative bodies.

The vaccine, which has been dubbed ‘Sputnik V’ in honor of the first satellite launched into orbit by the Soviet Union, was announced earlier this month. The Russian government claims it is the first coronavirus vaccine in the world and that it is perfectly safe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that his daughter has already been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

But the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO) warned that Russia had moved too fast with the vaccine’s registration, and that further testing is needed.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, told reporters that international skepticism over the vaccine is being cause by “a range of countries is running an information war against the Russian vaccine.”

Russia will share the data from the upcoming trials with the World Health Organization and with the countries of United Arab Emirates, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, which are considering participating in the trial.

Meanwhile, 26,000 individuals are still being infected by the coronavirus in Europe on a daily basis.