Coronavirus Vaccine Update: Russia’s Sechenov University Claims To Be The First To Complete Human Trials

Mumbai: BMC medical team wearing protective suits conduct door-to-door thermal screening of the residents of Kurar area in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, during Unlock 1.0, at Malad in Mumbai, Monday, June 29, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI29-06-2020_000263B)

Here’s What We Know So Far

Even as coronavirus cases across the world continue to plummet in a dangerous way, a novel vaccine developed by the University of Sechenov, Russia might be one of the first of its kind to be effective against coronavirus, as researchers have claimed to have completed the work on clinical trials for the same.

02/5Vaccine trials started in the month of June

The news about the completion of the tests on volunteers was declared by Alexander Lukashev, the director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases at Sechenov University:

“Sechenov University has successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus,” adding that the volunteers will be discharged in the coming week. The group had started clinical trials in mid-June.

Reports suggest the vaccine trial was given the go-ahead by the Russian Health Ministry on June 16, following which, the first group of volunteers received the jab of the vaccine which were held at the Gamaleya Institute, an epidemiology research centre in Moscow.

The first group had 18 volunteers, while the second one involved 23 volunteers, who were dosed with a liquid and powder form of the vaccine and isolated at the facility in a careful manner during the process.

03/5Is the vaccine safe for use?

Officials based out of the Gamaleya institute also made headlines recently with a statement that the director of the institute and other researchers had tried the vaccine on themselves before the start of human studies.

The researchers also added that they were happy with the results of the trial, saying that they have been able to study the working of the vaccine on human health.

“The safety of the vaccine is confirmed. It corresponds to the safety of those vaccines that are currently on the market,” Lukashev told a leading Russian media agency. The further vaccine development plan is already being determined by the developer’s strategy, including the complexity of the epidemiological situation with the virus and the possibility of scaling up production”

04/5Can the vaccine be used by public?

While Russian authorities claim to be the first to develop a vaccine, it is still unclear as to how and when will the vaccine be made available. Some have also raised doubts over the stage of completion of the trials. Considering the small scale of volunteers involved in the study, it might be possible that further research may be needed before the vaccine is cleared for use.

If the vaccine prototype receives approvals in time, it can be one of the first coronavirus vaccine available to the world.

According to the WHO, 110+ groups globally are in contention to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, out of which, over 5 have proceeded to advanced stages of the vaccine trial. Even though some scientists claim that having a vaccine available for public use by the end of the year is a tall ambitious claim, nonetheless, trials and testing are going on at warp speed.

05/5What is the status of other trials?

Meanwhile, Chinese vaccine maker Cansino Biologics is also said to be in talks with Russian authorities to outsource trials of their prototype, Sinovac there. Trials of the same are also happening in Brazil.

Apart from vaccine development, Russia is also studying the feasibility of experimental therapies and medical interventions in treating positive coronavirus cases in the country, which remains one of the worst affected in the world.