Second Russian COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Registered in October

31 August 2020

GMP News

The first batch of a newly-developed vaccine against the novel coronavirus, developed by the state research center of virology and biotechnology Vektor, may be available at the end of October or early November, the chief of the center’s zoonotic infections and influenza section, Alexander Ryzhikov, told the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock television news channel in an interview.

Vektor expects the registration of its vaccine in October. The third phase of its tests will be carried out after that.

“As for mass production, we are ready to discuss this possibility right away and we are already making some preparations. In principle, the first batch of the vaccine may be provided immediately after registration. We hope we’ll make it by the end of October or in November,” he said.

The vaccine is being tested on a group of 100 volunteers. The first one has already been discharged from hospital after spending 23 days under observation. Ryzhikov said that all of those vaccinated had developed antibodies and only six volunteers experienced some side effects of the vaccine: they complained about muscular aches around the injection site.

“Six in one hundred is a very low rate,” he said.

Ryzhikov hopes that a report on the second phase of the clinical tests will be finalized by the middle of September. All volunteers will stay under observation for up to 280 days. The center Vektor will provide the vaccine in ampoules. It is to be introduced into the human body by means of an intra-muscular injection, most often into the shoulder. Ryzhikov remarked that it was too early to speculate about the costs, but at the same time he has no doubts that it will be competitive on the world market.

“The tests are not over yet. We are unable to say for how long the immunity will last,” he said. “We hope that it will be effective no less than the vaccines against flu.”

He speculated that vaccination against the coronavirus might become annual, but the center Vektor is conducting research into other revaccination options.

“Possibly we will follow a pattern that has been tested and used for many decades against tick-borne encephalitis: vaccination, revaccination and subsequent revaccination every three years,” he concluded.

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