Russia approves its third COVID-19 vaccine, CoviVac

Russia on Saturday accredited a third coronavirus vaccine for home use, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin mentioned on state TV, although large-scale medical trials of the shot, labelled CoviVac and produced by the Chumakov Centre, have but to start.

Russia has already accredited two COVID-19 vaccines, together with the Sputnik V shot, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, following an analogous strategy of granting approval earlier than seeing any late-stage trial outcomes.

The preemptive approvals had raised issues amongst some scientists within the West, however inoculations with these first two pictures started on a mass scale in Russia solely after trials had been concluded and confirmed success.

Sputnik V was accredited in August and late-stage trials started in September. Mass vaccination was launched in December, after preliminary trial outcomes confirmed the vaccine to be 91.4% efficient.

Since then, greater than two million Russians have been vaccinated with a minimum of the primary dose of Sputnik V, Well being Minister Mikhail Murashko mentioned on Feb. 10.

Rollout of a second vaccine, developed by the Vector Institute in Novosibirsk, is starting.

“In the present day, Russia is the one nation to have already three vaccines in opposition to COVID-19,” Prime Minister Mishustin mentioned.

The Chumakov Centre, based in 1955 in St Petersburg by Mikhail Chumakov, is thought for its work with U.S. scientist Albert Sabin on the top of the Chilly Warfare, which led to the manufacturing of the widely-used polio vaccine.


Not like the Sputnik V vaccine, which makes use of a modified innocent chilly virus that tips the physique into producing antigens to assist the immune system put together for a coronavirus an infection, the CoviVac vaccine is a “whole-virion” vaccine.

This implies it’s made from a coronavirus that has been inactivated, or stripped of its skill to duplicate.

“The vaccine now we have developed… displays the entire historical past of Russian, in addition to world, vaccine science,” the Chumakov Centre’s director, Aidar Ishmukhametov, mentioned on Saturday.

The benefit, based on virologist Alexander Chepurnov, cited by outlet Lenta.Ru, is that CoviVac contains all parts of the virus, making a broader immune response that’s more likely to shield in opposition to any variants.

Nevertheless, testing Russia’s COVID-19 pictures in opposition to SARS-CoV-2 variants which have emerged within the UK, South Africa and elsewhere is in its early levels. President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered a evaluate of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccines to be offered by March 15 assessing their skill to guard in opposition to the brand new variants.


Globally, one different main vaccine candidate – India’s COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech – makes use of the “whole-virion” strategy.

India’s drug regulator has touted the shot’s skill to behave in opposition to the entire physique of a virus as a substitute of simply its “spike-protein” tip, probably making it more practical in case of mutations.

The CoviVac shot is given in two doses, 14 days aside. It’s transported and saved at regular fridge temperatures, of two to eight levels Celsius (35.6 to 46.4 Fahrenheit), Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova mentioned in a authorities briefing in January.

The shot has already been examined for security on 200 folks aged between 18 and 60, Ishmukhametov advised the state-run Vesti-24 information channel in late January.

This early-stage trial started on Sept. 21 final 12 months, based on the state medical trials register. It confirmed no side-effects, together with no rise in temperature, Ishmukhametov mentioned.

Mid-stage trials to check volunteers’ immune responses had been ongoing, he mentioned on the time.

Solely a placebo-controlled, large-scale trial might confirm effectiveness, he added. This is because of start now that the go-ahead has been granted.

The primary 120,000 doses, nevertheless, can be produced and launched to the nationwide inoculation programme in March, Mishustin mentioned.

Then, the Chumakov Centre will produce round half 1,000,000 doses per 30 days on its platforms, Ishmukhametov mentioned on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Golikova additionally introduced on Saturday that Russia will produce 88 million vaccine doses within the first half of this 12 months, together with 83 million Sputnik V doses.

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