ATHENS, October 28. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov has informed the Greek Health Ministry’s expert committee about the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus, a senior Greek health official told reporters late on Tuesday.
"Today we had a meeting with the Russian ambassador here, at the Health Ministry. He told us about the hope for a Russian vaccine, developed by a major vaccine research institution. There is hope," said Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases Sotiris Tsiodras, who is in charge of Greece's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the official, an accessible vaccine against the novel coronavirus can appear earlier than previously expected, mentioning the Oxford University vaccine and its US-made counterparts.
"We do not lose hope, but we cannot stay passive as the virus continues to spread," the expert said, adding that "the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is worse than the first one."
Tsiodras added that the next three months, preceeding the projected start of the coronavirus vaccination in January, will be very difficult.
"So far, the only solution is to wear a [protective] mask," he said.
Greek health ministry’s expert group member Charalambos Gogos described Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine as ‘very good’ during a briefing in September, adding that it triggers a proper immune response in almost 100% of all cases.
On August 11, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by Russia’s Health Ministry and became the world’s first registered vaccine against COVID-19. Post-registration trials began in Moscow on September 7. First doses of the vaccine were administered on September 9. Overall, the program involves some 40,000 people, including 10,000 people who received placebo instead of the vaccine.