Russia starts production of Covid-19 vaccine – Health Ministry
Production of the Russian vaccine for Covid-19 has been launched, the Health Ministry says. It was dubbed ‘Sputnik V’ after the world’s first artificial satellite launched by the USSR but its official name is ‘Gam-COVID-Vak’.
The vaccine, which was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center, has two components that need to be injected three weeks apart to trigger an immune response to the coronavirus. Moscow says over 20 nations have shown interest in purchasing the drug for domestic use.
Russia’s health regulator registered the vaccine after it passed Phase II trials in June and July. It was decided that passing Phase III trial was not necessary for approval because it is based on a time-tested platform. The decision was criticized by some Western governments and health professionals, who consider it rushed and potentially dangerous.
The Health Ministry says the vaccine trial data will soon be published and hopefully alleviate some of the concerns. It is also expected that the vaccine will be available to the general public in January 2021.
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