Russia vaccinates the rich and the powerful against Covid; public launch in August

Russia may be the first to launch a corona vaccine in August, not India, China or the US as expected earlier.

According to reports, Russia has already given this experimental vaccine to many including the top executives, political leaders and scientists even the third phase of the trial is set to start in Russia and Saudi Arabia next month.

It is learnt that the country would go ahead with the launch, even before the final and extensive third phase trial. Reports quoted Russian Health Minister announcing the launch of vaccine by next month.

“The government’s decree implies this. It will be imperative that additional clinical research of an approved vaccine be conducted simultaneously,” the minister said.

Vaccine will start phase 3 trials in thousands of people on Aug. 3 in Russia as well as in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Russia could make 30 million doses domestically in 2020, and 170 million abroad, with five countries expressing interest in producing the vaccine and others willing to produce it, he said.

It was reported that the powerful and the rich in the country started getting the vaccine shots as early as in April after the state-run Gamaleya Institute in Moscow developed the candidate.

The Gamaleya vaccine, financed by the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund and backed by the military, last week completed a phase 1 trial involving Russian military personnel.

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