Studies of a vaccine against the coronavirus infection in children may begin in nine months but first clinical trials on adults need to be completed, Director of the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry Alexander Gintsburg told TASS on Tuesday.
"Such studies [in children] may begin when clinical trials on adults are over, that is, the post-registration phase is complete. It [the vaccine] will be administered for 3-4 months and after the last person is injected, six more months must pass. So it comes to nine months," he said.
According to the researcher, the paperwork is not finalized yet to obtain the permission of Russia’s Healthcare Ministry to study this vaccine in children, the process is underway.
The director of the Gamaleya Research Center noted that nobody had discussed yet the reduced version of a vaccine and no experiments of this kind had been conducted. "It is possible that this will be done similarly to the BCG vaccines where the BCG-M vaccine contains half of the adult dose of the vaccine against tuberculosis. If 14-year-olds are injected with the BCG-M, it is one dosage, if newborns are inoculated, which is more common, the dose is reduced by half," he pointed out.
He didn’t exclude the possibility that the same approach would be used with the Sputnik V vaccine. The researcher also mentioned a possible creation of an intranasal form of the vaccine as a gentler version. "Children have different body mass. Naturally, a child weighing 20 kilograms definitely needs a lower dose than an adult weighing 50-60-70 kilograms," the scientist said.
On August 11, Russia became the first worldwide to register the vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. The preparation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center and passed clinical trials in June - July. It is based on a known platform previously used for other vaccines. On August 15, the Healthcare Ministry announced the production launch of the preparation. On September 8, the first batch of the vaccine was released for civilian circulation.