ST. PETERSBURG, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - The first batch of vaccine against the A/H1N1 swine flu will be ready by October 1, a prominent Russian researcher said on Monday.
Oleg Kiselev, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Influenza Institute, said the vaccine was being developed on a very strict schedule as agreed with Russia's Health Ministry.
"By October 1, we will have the first batch of the vaccine for high risk groups. We have no doubts about this and we are fighting for every week," Kiselev told journalists.
He also said the vaccine would be given to volunteers beginning on August 20.
"We will hold negotiations with one of the companies... By evening, we should know when we will start, though we want to begin on August 20."
Kiselev said the vaccine manufacturer was having difficulty because "they have to first produce the seasonal flu vaccine, and that will delay the new one."
As of July 22, there have been 143,841 cases of the virus, with 813 deaths throughout the world. Russia has confirmed 18 cases of the flu, all of which were detected in individuals returning to Russia from vacations or business trips abroad.