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Vedomosti: Russia targets quarter of global COVID-19 vaccine market

Russia received temporary registration for the coronavirus vaccine – Gam-COVID-Vac developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, which will enter the market under the Sputnik V trademark. Representatives of the risk group (doctors, teachers, the elderly) will have access to vaccination first, and everyone else – starting from October. According to Vedomosti, Gam-COVID-Vac production is slated to reach 10 mln doses per month by December this year. Meanwhile, some experts do not trust the Russian-developed vaccine.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which partially funded the vaccine’s development, estimates the global demand for vaccines will be 3-5 bln doses by the end of 2021.

“The average price of vaccines on the market will be about $25. Thus, the market size will reach around $75 bln,” Head of the Fund Kirill Dmitriev said. The price of the Russian vaccine has not yet been disclosed.

However, a source familiar with the situation told Vedomosti, that a single dose will cost no more than $20. The paper writes that the potential share of the Russian vaccine on the global market is estimated at $20 bln.

The first and second phases of vaccine trials in Russia were combined, this is a normal practice, the newspaper writes.

However, according to official figures, only 76 people were tested – specifically selected military personnel. Meanwhile, the Gamaleya Research Institute has not yet presented detailed publications on the test results, unlike other vaccine developers – AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Cansino.

According to Vedomosti, experts are disconcerted by the fact that mass vaccination of the population will begin before the end of the third trial phase. They argue that the vaccine’s effectiveness must be proven by long-term observations and extensive field studies. As of now, the first people vaccinated with Sputnik V will simultaneously become participants in the third stage of the trial.

“It is necessary to conduct three phases of preclinical and clinical studies, checking the safety and efficacy of the drug on thousands of patients, because even a fraction of the percentage of side effects during mass vaccination can cause colossal harm to health,” professor Igor Gundarov told Vedomosti. “Post-clinical observations are also important, when after months or even years the patient’s condition is still monitored, because side effects may not appear immediately,” he added.

Header: KRASNODAR, RUSSIA – MARCH 20, 2020: An employee processing samples while conducting COVID-19 coronavirus tests at the Microbiology Lab of the Hygienic and Epidemiological Center in the Krasnodar Territory, part of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor). Igor Onuchin/TASS

Source: Vedomosti via TASS