Two groups of volunteers, comprising Russian servicemen and civilians, have been selected for clinical trials of Russia’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Wednesday.
“In order to participate in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, two groups of volunteers have been selected. The first group comprises servicemen who gave their voluntary consent to take part in the trials (officers, warrant officers, contract servicemen). The second group comprises civilian volunteers,” the ministry said.
All volunteers will be allowed to take part in the trials only after full medical examination.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a group of 50 servicemen – among them ten medical workers – was placed in a 14-day quarantine on June 4 and 9.
“The quarantine precedes vaccination and is aimed at ruling out the possibility of the infection being transmitted to participants of the experiment and the medical personnel,” the ministry said.
Starting from June 10, a group of civilian volunteers who gave their consent to participate in the clinical trials of the vaccine, will stay in the Burdenko Main Military Clinical Hospital in Moscow, where their health will be monitored by doctors on a daily basis.
On June 2, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that 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, including three doctors.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier reported to President Vladimir Putin that the Central Research Institute of the Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defense Troops and the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology were developing a coronavirus vaccine.
According to Shoigu, pre-clinical trials were to be completed by June 1 and clinical trials were supposed to be over by the end of July.
The clinical trials of the vaccine will be conducted 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.