There is No Need to Delay Registration of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine, Top Epidemiologist Says

© REUTERS / Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020
FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a Vaccine COVID-19 sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The technology used to develop the Gamaleya Microbiology Research Centre's vaccine against COVID-19 was earlier practiced while creating vaccines against other diseases, therefore there is no need to postpone registration, Nikolay Briko, the Russian Health Ministry's chief epidemiologist, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"I do not understand at all why this issue has emerged. If we are talking about the Gamaleya Centre's vaccine, it has not appeared out of nowhere. The centre has been conducting research in this area for over 10 years, it has created vaccines against Ebola and the Middle East respiratory syndrome. The same adenovirus-based technology was used during the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is not subject to any review or delay, since the technology has already been practiced", Briko said.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, vaccine registration may be sped-up, and this is why post-registration control is extremely important, the epidemiology expert explained.

"In this case I believe there is no reason to debar vaccine registration, as it has proven safe, and efficiency has been studied", Briko added.

The Russian news outler RBC earlier reported that pharmaceutical companies have called on the Health Ministry to delay the registration of the vaccine.

The report came shortly after Deputy Health Minister Oleg Gridnev announced last Friday that registration for the first vaccine against the coronavirus was slated for 12 August.

"At the moment, the last, third, stage is underway. The trials are extremely important. We have to understand that the vaccine must be safe. Medical professionals and senior citizens will be the first to get vaccinated", Gridnev told reporters at the opening of a cancer centre building in the city of Ufa.

The vaccine was developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry. It has two separately-injected components that together are expected to build a long-term immunity against the virus.

Clinical trials of the vaccine kicked off on 18 June and included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed immunity. The first group was discharged on 15 July, the second group on 20 July.

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