World, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Russia to hold phase 3 of COVID-19 vaccine trial abroad

Country spends $1.67B for fighting pandemic

Elena Teslova   | 16.07.2020
Russia to hold phase 3 of COVID-19 vaccine trial abroad

MOSCOW

The second phase of a COVID-19 vaccine trials in Russia is expected to be finished by Aug. 3, head of the Russian Fund of Direct Investments Kirill Dmitriev said on Thursday.

Right after the third phase starts, it will take place "not only in Russia but also in the Middle East and some other countries," Dmitriev said.

Russia has been developing 26 vaccines, and one of them, produced by the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology, has successfully undergone the first phase of trials.

Another vaccine from competing research establishment, the State Scientific Centre “Vector”, is being examined by experts to obtain permission for clinical trials.

Asked about competition in producing vaccine against COVID-19, head of the Gamaleya Centre Alexandr Ginzburg said: "The globe needs unprecedented amounts of vaccine", meaning all the producers will have enough clients.

Only people who survived the severe form of coronavirus do not need inoculation against the novel virus as they develop strong immune response, he added.

He also advised to take a break of at least two weeks between inoculations against COVID-19 and other diseases.

Meanwhile, the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry is preparing to kick-start mass production of vaccine as soon as clinical testing is finished and approved by medical authorities, its head Denis Manturov said.

According to Manturov, the industry re-profiled its capacities to amplify the production of means necessary to counteract the spread of the pandemic, including rapid tests, medicines against severe pneumonia, and the anti-COVID drug Favipiravir.

"We are also completing the execution of government contracts on medical equipment, specifically lung ventilators and infrared scanners," he said.

Earlier, the government announced that Russia's expenses on fighting the pandemic exceed 116 billion rubles (about $1.67 billion). While 76 billion rubles were spent for equipping beds for the COVID-19 patients throughout the country, 40 billion rubles were allocated for free deliveries of test systems to the government, municipal medical institutions, and treatment of coronavirus-infected people.

These figures do not include the funds transferred to support development of tests, vaccines, and extra payments to medical staff.

Since originating in China last December, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 584,700 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 13.57 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 7.59 million patients have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.

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