19:24 GMT18 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A Russian vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus will take at least half a year to develop, Deputy Director of the Russian Health Ministry’s Centre for Strategic Planning and Biomedical Health Risks Management German Shipulin said.

    "We do not know how this virus will behave among our population … The susceptibility of the population to it depends on genetics. But if the virus does get to Russia and will start to spread with a large number of lethal outcomes, this vaccine will become a saviour," Shipulin said, as quoted in the Russian Izvestia newspaper on Wednesday.

    Shipulin claims that it will be rather easy to develop the new vaccine, but it will require a lot of funds to be allocated. He estimated that the whole process of developing the vaccine will take a minimum of half a year, including all the trial periods.

    On Tuesday, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it had started working on the development of a vaccine that could cure the new coronavirus strain.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 282 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed, 278 of them in China, where the current coronavirus outbreak originated in December of last year. Cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus have been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

    On Monday, China’s National Health Commission confirmed human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus. Previously, it was thought that the virus could only be contracted from exposure to sick animals.

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (159)


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    Russian Health Ministry, World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus, Vaccine
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