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First volunteers in Phase 3 trials to be vaccinated this week

First supplies of the coronavirus vaccine to Russian regions are planned for the next week, according to the health minister

SOLNECHNOGORSK /Moscow Region/, September 7./TASS/. The vaccination of first volunteers as part of Phase 3 clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will begin as early as this week, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko told journalists on Monday.

Concurrently, first supplies of the coronavirus vaccine to Russian regions are planned for the next week, Murashko said.

"Vaccination of those who will undergo clinical trials under Phase 3 begins this week. Concurrently, first deliveries of the vaccine [to the regions] will begin, modest so far, in order to meet all interests," the minister said.

Earlier, the minister explained that at the present stage high-risk groups will be vaccinated, in particular medics and teachers, and that the vaccination will proceed along with post-registration clinical trials.

Russia on August 11 became the first country in the world to have registered a vaccine against the coronavirus - Sputnik V. The vaccine was created at the Gamaleya Institute and underwent clinical tests in June-July. It is based on a platform that had already been used to create a number of other vaccines. On August 15, the Health Ministry said the vaccine’s production had been launched.

Later, the Director of the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Alexander Gintsburg, told TASS that the vaccination of volunteers during the phase of post-registration tests would commence at the beginning of September. A total of 40,000 people will take part. Ten thousand of them will be injected with a placebo substance.