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Belarus joins final phase of Russian COVID-19 vaccine trials

Earlier the two presidents agreed that Belarus would become one of the first countries supplied with the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection

SOCHI, September 14. /TASS/. Belarus has started participation in the final phase of clinical trials of a Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Monday during a meeting in Sochi with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

"As our prime ministers, and then also health ministers agreed upon, Belarus will become the first country to receive our antiviral vaccine against COVID-19, and it has already rolled out the final phase of its trials. I think, not only this will allow us to get the production running but will also ensure a necessary level of vaccination and fight with this disease for our citizens, for their safety," the Russian president said.

Earlier the two presidents agreed that Belarus would become one of the first countries supplied with the vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Additionally, the republic will join the concluding stage of the additional testing of the Russian vaccine, which means that Belarus' citizens can voluntarily participate in the third phase of trials.

On August 11, Russia became the first country worldwide to register the vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. The preparation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center and passed clinical trials in June - July. It is based on a known platform previously used for other vaccines. The Healthcare Ministry noted that the experience of use of similar preparations indicates that they are capable of providing a lengthy immunity of up to two years.

On August 15, the Healthcare Ministry announced the production launch of the preparation. Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev stated earlier that Russia had already received requests from 20 countries to supply 1 bln doses of the vaccine.