MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. Mass vaccination with a coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia’s State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vector is expected to take place in 2021, the center's Director General Rinat Maksyutov told the government’s coronavirus information website.
"A mass vaccination campaign is expected to begin in 2021," he said.
According to Maksyutov, vaccination will be voluntary and free for Russian citizens. Medical, education and transport workers, police officers and other employees whose work brings them into contact with large numbers of people, will have a chance to get vaccinated before others.
Post-registration trials phase of the EpiVacCorona vaccine against the coronavirus developed by the Vector сenter will begin in November-December on 40,000 volunteers, Rinat Maksyutov said.
"The launch of several post-registration trials is planned for November - December 2020. They will last six months from the date of inoculation of the last volunteer," he said.
The developer explained that one of the advantages of the vaccine is its "effectiveness against genetically and antigenically distinct strains," since the preparation contains a part of a macromolecule of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen, recognized by the immune system.
"As opposed to a vector vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, and to an inactivated vaccine of the Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune and Biological Products of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the EpiVacCorona vaccine contains only short sequences of the viral protein, peptides, necessary for the formation of the immune response," the scientist explained.
On July 24, the Vector center received permission from the Russian Health Ministry to conduct clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine, named EpiVacCorona, on volunteers. That phase of trials completed on September 30 and the vaccine was registered in mid-October. The center plans to launch post-registration trials of the vaccine involving 40,000 volunteers.