Russia, which was the first country to grant regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine has approved its second candidate as well. Not only that, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the third vaccine candidate is also almost ready at the Chumakov Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. "I have a piece of news. The Novosibirsk-based Vektor Centre has registered a second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona...As far as I am aware, a third vaccine is almost ready at the Chumakov Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences," he said.
The second vaccine to receive approval, EpiVacCorona, was developed by Siberia's Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology. However, the vaccine has only completed its early-stage human trials and are yet to undergo a large scale trial or Phase 3.
Meanwhile, Putin said on state TV that they have to increase production of first and second vaccines. "We are continuing to cooperate with our foreign partners and will promote our vaccine abroad," he added.
"Novosibirsk-based Vektor Centre has registered a second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona. Unlike with the first Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, which is an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, the new one is a promising synthetic vaccine based on peptide," the Russian government said.
Vladimir Putin plans to establish Russia as a primary player in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Moscow has been rushing to roll out candidates to this end.
Meanwhile in India, Dr Reddy's had teamed up with Russian Development Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct trials of the first Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. But the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) declined the proposal and asked the companies to start with a smaller trial first. Subsequently, Dr Reddy's reapplied for permission of Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct combined Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine candidate Sputnik V in India.