New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Russian Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov has claimed that the country's first coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology is "ready" for use.

The COVID-19 vaccine which was created by military specialists and scientists of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology completed phase 2 trials on Monday with everyone developing immunity from the coronavirus and feeling fine, Tsalikov told Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty.

"Final assessments on the results of testing by our specialists and scientists of the National Research Center have been already made. At the moment of release, all volunteers without exception developed immunity against the coronavirus and felt normal. So, the first domestic vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection is ready," Tsalikov was quoted as saying in the interview by Russian news agency TASS.

However, according to multiple media reports, The Defence minister didn’t inform when Phase 3 large-scale trials would be taking place or when the production of the vaccine may begin.

Reports suggest that the Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile, The Health Ministry in response to the statement said that the tests of the vaccine are continuing, the Interfax news service reported.

“The third phase has not started yet, or even been announced. The reason they’re in such a rush is completely incomprehensible," said Sergei Netesov, a former executive at Vector, a state-run virology center in Novosibirsk that’s also working on an inoculation.
“They’re all getting ahead of themselves," he added.

Russian news agency TASS reported that the Health ministry issued a permit for clinical tests of liquid and freeze-dried vaccines developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology jointly with the Russian defense ministry’s research institute No48 in June.

Russian Direct Investment Fund’s head Kirill Dmitriev last week in a statement said, “The army is developing a vaccine with the state-run Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Phase 3 trials, which will include thousands of people in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are scheduled to begin Aug. 3 and distribution of the vaccine could start as early as September.”

Russia has become the fourth-most affected nation by the surge in coronavirus cases. Accelerating the testing process, Russia is funding production even before the vaccine is known to work, amid a global race to find defenses against the deadly pandemic that has wreaked economic havoc.

Posted By: Simran Babbar