Clinical trials of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus begin in Russia on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"The Russian Defense Ministry and the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology are beginning clinical trials of the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection," the ministry said.
"The first group of volunteers will be vaccinated soon, once the two-week isolation period is over. The main goal is to check the safety and acceptability of the vaccine’s components," it said.
The trials will take about 1.5 months, the Gamalei center’s director Alexander Gintsburg said.
"They are expected to take about 1.5 months. In fact, the volunteers will remain in hospital for 28 days," he said during a TV show on Russia’s Channel One, TASS reports.
The vaccine will be injected two times, with a 21-day interval, the official added.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday that permission for the clinical trials had been obtained, and they were scheduled to begin on June 17.
On June 2, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two groups of volunteers - military and civilians have been selected to test safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. The first group lists 50 servicemen, including five women, from various units throughout Russia. All of them are contract servicemen, warrant officers, and officers from 25 to 50 years old. Among the 50 volunteers there are 10 medical workers, including three doctors.
The vaccine has already been tested on small and large animals.
Director of Russia’s Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg earlier said that mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus may begin in Russia this fall, but the process might take up to nine months.