Although much is known about trials undertaken elsewhere, details of Russian vaccines in development are more opaque, with unconfirmed reports last month suggesting the most advanced vaccine prototype had already been made available. of the Russian elite in the midst of its epidemic.
Although the mechanism of the Russian vaccine has been described, no data on its safety has been released after two groups of volunteers, including Russian military and civilians, received the vaccine in June at the ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute. Russian Defense.
According to Industry Minister Denis Manturov, in an interview with Tass, the main interest is in a vaccine under development at the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, whose mass production is expected to begin next month.
“We are very much relying on the launch of mass production in September,” Manturov said.
“We will be able to ensure production volumes of several hundred thousand per month, with a possible increase to several million by the start of next year,” he said, adding that a developer was preparing production technology at three sites in central Russia.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told reporters on Saturday that clinical trials have been completed and paperwork is underway to register the vaccine.
The Gamaleya vaccine is a so-called vector vaccine that uses another virus fused with the key spike protein of Sars CoV-2 to stimulate an immune response. It is similar to a vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics, which is already in Phase 2 trials with plans for more in Canada.
Another Russian vaccine, developed by Siberian laboratory Vektor, is in clinical trials, and two more will begin human testing in the next two months, Murashko said.
The Gamaleya Institute has come under fire after researchers and directors injected themselves with the prototype months ago, with experts criticizing the move as an unorthodox and hasty way to start human trials.
On Friday, the leading infectious disease specialist in the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped Russia – and China – “actually tested the vaccine” before giving them to anyone.
“I don’t think there will be vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to depend on other countries to get us vaccines,” he told US lawmakers.