Russia has given regulatory approval to the second COVID-10 vaccine after early-stage studies, a delighted President Vladimir Putin announced at a government meeting on Wednesday.
Developed by the Vector Institute in Siberia and completed early-stage human trials last month, the results have not been published yet, and a large-scale trial is yet to begin.
“We need to increase production of the first and second vaccine,” Putin said in comments broadcast on state TV.
“We are continuing to cooperate with our foreign partners and will promote our vaccine abroad.”
Named EpiVacCorona, the peptide-based vaccine was tested among 100 volunteers in early-stage, between 18 and 60 in Novosibirsk, and is the second to be licensed for use in Russia.
Developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, Sputnik V, the vaccine was based on an adenovirus vector, was registered before Phase III trials that involve 40,000 participants in Moscow, and was licensed for use in August.
According to the Interfax news agency, a large-scale human trial of EpiVacCorona that is expected to involve 30,000 volunteers, of whom the first 5,000 will be residents of Siberia, is likely to begin in November or December.
Russia’s first vaccine, Sputnik V, was developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute and approved by the government on Aug. 11. Just like on Wednesday, Putin personally broke the news on national television by mentioning that one of his daughters had already been vaccinated, experienced slight side effects, and developed antibodies. The international criticism didn’t stop Russia from promoting Sputnik V abroad.
Since the start of the COVID-19, Russia has recorded more than 1,340,000 infections, fourth in the world after the United States, India, and Brazil.