Russia may be the first to finish coronavirus vaccine trials: Investment fund’s chief

Small bottles labeled with "Vaccine"stickers stand near a medical syringe in front of displayed "Coronavirus COVID-19"words in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. Reuters. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Jul 17, 2020, TASS. The final, phase 3, trials of a Russian vaccine against coronavirus developed by the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology may be completed quicker than in other countries, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, told the Vesti news program on Rossiya-1television on Thursday, TASS reported.

“This is the final phase that is necessary to put the vaccine into active use. And we believe that Russia will possibly go through this phase quicker than other countries,” Dmitriev said.

He noted that phase 3 trials implied switching over to large-scale human trials. Human trials will involve thousands of people in Moscow, “and we will also start conducting phase 3 in other countries,” the head of the Direct Investment Fund said.

Phase 2 trials of this vaccine will be completed on August 3, Dmitriev said on Thursday. According to him, regulatory approval of the Russian vaccine for the use is expected in August-September.

According to forecasts from the Direct Investment Fund, 30 million doses of the vaccine will be produced in Russia in 2020, or even 50 million if necessary. The vaccination of Russian nationals may be completed early in 2021.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 13,717,900 people have been infected worldwide and more than 587,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 8,172,400 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 752,797 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 531,692 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 11,937 fatalities nationwide.

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