Russia that approved its first coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V is now gearing up to register its second COVID-19 vaccine. Developed by Siberia's Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, the second vaccine completed early-stage human trials last month. The vaccine developer said that it expects to register the second vaccine on October 15.
The country had fast-tracked the second vaccine's approval process as it aims to protect its citizens from a second wave of coronavirus. Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko had said earlier that he expects to approve a Russian coronavirus vaccine developed by the Vector institute in mid-October, as mentioned in a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Like its predecessor, the new vaccine EpiVacCorona is yet to finish its clinical trials. Once the authorities give the nod, the second Russian vaccine would be put to Phase 3 of clinical trials. The third phase of trials would involve thousands of people. Russian officials have also stated that the vaccine's early stage trials have shown its efficacy and safety, as mentioned in the news site.
This is Russia's second vaccine in a span of 10 weeks despite scepticism by doctors and scientists who have expressed concerns over fast-track approval.
Moscow's rush to roll out another COVID-19 vaccine is in line with President Vladimir Putin's aim to establish the country as a primary player in the race to develop coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile in India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has declined a proposal by Dr Reddy's Laboratories to conduct large scale trials for Sputnik V. The panel suggested a smaller trial first for the Russian COVID-19 vaccine. The CDSCO panel said that data from early-stage trials that were conducted overseas is restricted to a small number of participants. Moreover, there's no data available on its effects on Indian participants, the panel noted.