Moscow (Reuters)-Russian scientists praised the results of their first clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, saying that it has been proven safe and that volunteers have developed an immune response.
File picture: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication and Trinity College Dublin shows a model that structurally represents the beta coronavirus. This model is a type of virus associated with COVID-19, also known as a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. , To communicate with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Newsletter/Via REUTERS/File Photo
In a crowded room without masks, 3 out of 18 volunteers who had been monitored at Sechenov University for more than a month said that they had almost no side effects.
Large-scale trials aimed at determining the strength of the immune response generated by the vaccine and the duration of protection are expected to begin in Russia in mid-August.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to stop this pandemic. Of the 19 human trials, only two were in the final third stage-one was provided by China National Pharmaceutical Group, and the other was from AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
“We are mainly conducting safety tests,” said Elena Smolyarchuk, the dean of Sechenov University and one of the coordinators of the trial.
“About non-specific immunity, we can only talk about the preliminary results. These show a good positive trend and enhance non-specific immunity.” She said.
However, any final conclusions regarding the immune response of volunteers will be drawn by the Gamaleya Research Institute that developed the vaccine and is expected to end by the end of this month.
Smolyarchuk said that the Russian Ministry of Health will decide whether to register the vaccine and start large-scale trials.
Smolyarchuk said the vaccine is administered in two doses and consists of two human adenovirus serotypes, each carrying a new coronavirus S antigen, which enters human cells and produces an immune response.
It was first tested on primates and then applied to volunteers on June 18.
Vadim Tarasov of Szenov University said that the platform used for the vaccine was developed by Russian scientists in the past two decades and has formed the basis of several vaccines, including three A vaccine against Ebola.
The Ministry of Defense conducted parallel trials of the same vaccine among 20 other volunteers, and the ministry also said on Wednesday that the team had been discharged.
Yuriy, a soldier and volunteer, said in a video shared by the Ministry of Defense: “This is no longer scary.”
Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Nick Macfie