Russia approves its third COVID-19 vaccine: PM

© Reuters. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin chairs a meeting in Moscow

By Polina Ivanova

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia approved a third coronavirus vaccine for home use on Saturday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on state television, although large-scale clinical trials of the shot called CoviVac, made by the Chumakov center, have not yet begun to have.

Russia has already approved two COVID-19 vaccines, including the Sputnik-V shot, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute.

The preventive approvals had raised concerns among some scientists in the West, but vaccinations with those first two shots began on a large scale in Russia only after the trials were completed and showed success.

Sputnik V was approved in August and late-stage trials began in September. Mass vaccination began in December after preliminary test results showed the vaccine was 91.4% effective.

Since then, more than two million Russians have been vaccinated with at least the first dose of Sputnik V, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on February 10.

The introduction of a second vaccine, developed by the Vector Institute in Novosibirsk, begins.

“Today Russia is the only country that already has three vaccines against COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Mishustin.

The Chumakov Center, founded in 1955 by Mikhail Chumakov in St. Petersburg, is known for its collaboration with the US scientist Albert Sabin at the height of the Cold War, which led to the manufacture of the widely used polio vaccine.

Unlike the Sputnik V vaccine, which uses a modified harmless cold virus that causes the body to produce antigens to help the immune system prepare for coronavirus infection, the CoviVac vaccine is a “whole virus” vaccine .

This means that it is a coronavirus that has been inactivated or deprived of its ability to replicate.

“The vaccine we have developed … reflects the entire history of Russian and global vaccination science,” said the director of the Chumakov center, Aidar Ishmukhametov, on Saturday.

The CoviVac shot is given in two doses 14 days apart. It will be transported and stored at normal refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 46.4 Fahrenheit), Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said at a government meeting in January.

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