Russian Covid-19 vaccine will be up for global scrutiny, say experts

Scientists said that it is not yet clear as to what protocols were followed for the clinical trials, but now it was up to the Russian regulators to decide the future course of development
Russia's Sechenov University has successfully completed human trials of its vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus, according to reports. Experts say that the global scientific community would now vet the efficacy of the vaccine before it can be used by countries across the world. Even if all goes well, it is still sometime away before it can be distributed globally. 

Russian news agency Sputnik said that Vadim Tarasov, the Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, told the agency that the university has completed the trial of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute, an epidemiology research centre in Moscow.

According to the report, Tarasov said the first group of volunteers would be discharged on July 15 and the second group on July 20. One group of 18 volunteers received the vaccine on June 18, while another group of 20 volunteers were given the vaccine on June 23 at the Practical Research Centre for Interventional Cardiovasology, Sechenov University.


Scientists said that it is not yet clear as to what protocols were followed for the clinical trials, but now it was up to the Russian regulators to decide the future course of development. "The pandemic is recent. Even if they had developed the vaccine candidate in March, it is only three months and the large scale trials would take longer. It is not clear whether this would now go for trials in larger population," said E Sreekumar, chief scientific officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. He added that given the pandemic situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) too may step in to check the efficacy of the vaccine candidate. 

As such each country will have own protocols and their regulator would decide if they wanted to allow the vaccine trials on their population. 

According to reports, Chief researcher Elena Smolyarchuk, who heads the Center for Clinical Research on Medications at Sechenov University, told a Russian news agency that the human trials for the vaccine have been completed at the university and they will be discharged soon. However, there is no update on when this vaccine can enter commercial production. 

Sreekumar said that global vaccines can come to India, but the drug regulator may ask for clinical trials on Indian population before giving a marketing approval. 


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