FG receives Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine

Nigeria, Russia Sign MOU On Covid-19 Vaccine

Russia's Covid-19 vaccine candidate, nicknamed Sputnik V, has proved to be immunogenic - generating an immune system response - against SARS CoV-2 and without any serious adverse effects in early-stage trials.

Senior officials said India had sought this from the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

"We are now deeply engaged with Russian Federation on the vaccine front", a source said. This engagement is being coordinated here by Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, and, in Russian Federation, by Indian Ambassador D B Venkatesh Varma.

Experts, as per various media reports, have pointed to the fact that it was a non-randomised trial, with the subjects including a significant number of soldiers (assumed to be fitter and healthier) and many being their 20s-30s.

"We expect the majority in Brazil because it's the biggest country and also the one most affected by the pandemic so we expect a lot of people volunteering, but we expect also high numbers in Colombia and in Argentina", Bacaltchuk said.

"Two doses of the vaccine were administered to each volunteer after they were selected through a screening process conducted over a period of three to seven days prior to vaccination".

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The next step for the vaccine is that it will now enter a 40,000 strong later-stage trial.

The letter mentions that Bharat Biotech's request for approval to initiate phase II clinical trials was examined in consultation with Subject Expert Committee (COVID-19) experts held through virtual meeting on September 3.

Ehanire said a ministerial team would be raised to continue further engagement with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria on the vaccine, as well as other areas of interests highlighted at the meeting.

Bacaltchuk said the decision to spread trials so widely was motivated in part by the challenge of securing sufficient volunteer numbers in a region crowded with other pharmaceutical companies conducting trials of their own prototypes.

The Indian Express is now on Telegram.

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