MOSCOW, July 10. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry and the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology have started the final stage of clinical trials of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the ministry stated on Friday.
According to the Defense Ministry, "an in-ward treatment of the first group of volunteers, who were tested for the safety and tolerability of the vaccine, will end on July 15."
"On Monday, July 13, the second group of volunteers, who are tested for the efficiency and immunogenicity of the vaccine, will be injected with the second component of the vaccine against the coronavirus," the ministry stated.
"The booster scheme of the vaccination, which is intended for the second group of volunteers, will enable to strengthen the immune system and will also prolong its endurance," according to the ministry.
The ministry also added that all volunteers feel well, have no complaints; they experience no side-effects at all and the first group of volunteers would be discharged from the Burdenko Military Hospital after undergoing the final tests.
Results of the COVID-19 vaccine tests, performed on a group of volunteers in Russia, show that they are developing immunity to the coronavirus, the ministry continued.
"In line with the research protocol, volunteers regularly take tests for antibody and cell-mediated immunity," the ministry stated. "The data obtained by the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, proves that volunteers of the first and second groups are forming an immune response after injections of the vaccine against the coronavirus."
The Defense Ministry announced in early June that two groups of volunteers had been selected for the clinical tests of an anti-coronavirus vaccine. The first group of 50 servicemen includes five women and ten medics. The second group is comprised of civilians.
Clinical testing of the vaccine developed by the Gamalei National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology began on June 18. Eighteen volunteers were vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 12,390,370 people have been infected worldwide and more than 557,400 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 7,220,650 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, over 707,300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 481,316 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 10,843 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.