President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that Russia has registered its second domestic Covid-19 vaccine, with a third already on the way. A phase-three trial, with 40,000 volunteers, is due to begin in the near future.
In August, Russia was the first country to announce the registration of a Covid-19 vaccine, which has since been taken by thousands of Muscovites, as part of its final trial phase. With a second formula registered and another around the corner, Russia will soon have a wide range of options.
The name of the new vaccine is EpiVacCorona and it is being produced in Siberia by Vector, a biological research center. Located near the city of Novosibirsk, Vector is a world-class virology and biotechnology facility, and has one of the world's most comprehensive collections of viruses, including Ebola, SARS, and smallpox.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, 60,000 doses of the vaccine are due to be released soon. She also said that 40,000 volunteers will participate in a third-phase clinical trial, including people over 65 years-old. Thus far, just 100 volunteers have taken the vaccine.
Speaking to Golikova, the president expressed his will for all doses produced in Russia to remain within the country, explaining that formulas for the use of foreign nations should be made abroad.
The third vaccine is being produced by the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center, in Moscow.
According to Alexander Ryzhikov, the head of Vector's zoonotic infections and influenza department, the second Russian vaccine should create immunity for at least six months, and is made in a way that people can be vaccinated multiple times.
"It forms a targeted immune response, and there is no need to worry about (the) long-term effects of revaccination," he said. The vaccine is also completely safe, with the only side-effect being a mild pain at the site of injection, Ryzhikov added.