A Russian university on Monday claimed that the clinical trial of Russia's first coronavirus vaccine on volunteers has been completed successfully. The Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University said that clinical trial began on June 18. The university added that it conducted human trials on a group of 38 volunteers in two batches.
Alexander Lukashev, the director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases at Sechenov University informed the media about the completion of the trial.
The COVID-19 vaccine is also being tested at Burdenko Military Hospital in Moscow in a liquid form. The university has said the first group of volunteers would be discharged on July 15 and the second on July 20.
How Russian university's clinical trials took place:
According to Russian news agency TASS, the first stage of research on the vaccine at Sechenov University kicked off on June 18 when a group of 18 volunteers was vaccinated. The second group of 20 volunteers was vaccinated on June 23.
According to Russian media, the volunteers received a lyophilised vaccine or a powder from which a solution was prepared for intramuscular injection. Initially, some participants reported headaches and high body temperature. However, the university said these symptoms resolved completely within 24 hours after vaccine administration.
In the meantime, the volunteers have been kept in single or double wards on campus at Sechenov University. The participants will have to spend 28 days in isolation after the vaccine injection to protect them from exposure to other infections. And, after discharge, they will be monitored for six more months.
While Russian university claims to be the first to develop a vaccine, it is still unclear as to how and when will the vaccine be available. Also, scale of volunteers was small, hence more comprehensive research might be needed before the vaccine is cleared for use.
Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), China-based Sinovac Biotech Sinovac and UK-based AstraZeneca are the only firms that are in Phase 3 trials of coronavirus vaccine.
Sinovac Biotech has reported positive preliminary data from the Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac. Sinovac's development of a vaccine against COVID-19 began in January 2020 in partnership with leading academic research institutes in China. Recently, Sinovac collaborated with Instituto Butantan in Brazil to prepare and conduct Phase 3 clinical study.
On the other hand, British drugmaker AstraZeneca has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at the University of Oxford. The British drugmaker has started conducting pPase 3 human trials of its AZD1222 (formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) vaccine candidate. Around 800 people will be administered the vaccine.