- Title: Russian scientists hail results of COVID-19 vaccine trial
- Date: 15th July 2020
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JULY 15, 2020) (REUTERS) NEWS CONFERENCE STARTING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SECHENOV UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT HEAD, VADIM TARASOV, SAYING: "The platform used for the vaccine was developed over two decades. The platform allows new medicines to be developed. A whole series of vaccines, including three against Ebola, have been developed and have undergone large-scale clinical trials on over 5,000 people, patients, and volunteers. This vaccine was developed one a previously created technological platform. We were not starting from scratch, which is why it was possible to produce it in such a short space of time." PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING PICTURE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR AT SECHENOV UNIVERSITY, ELENA SMOLYARCHUK, SAYING: "We, as Sergei Petrovich has already said, were primarily testing for safety and non-specific immunity. On non-specific immunity, we can only talk about preliminary results. These show a good, positive tendency, a strengthening of non-specific immunity. However, conclusions on the development of specific immunity will be made by the developers of the Gamalei Institute." CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SECHENOV UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT HEAD, VADIM TARASOV, SAYING: "We don't yet have a verified scientific database on how coronavirus works. It's not been completely studied. We hope that the vaccine made by the Gamalei centre and we trialed will be the first in the world to help patients protect themselves against coronavirus infections." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VOLUNTEER, ANNA GUDKINA, SAYING: "For two days I had a temperature of 38 degrees, but it was lowered using paracetamol. I had chills and a headache but by the third day it had all passed." VARIOUS OF MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VOLUNTEER, GRIGORY SMIRNOV, SAYING: "They gave us the vaccine and every hour a doctor checked our temperature and any pain, we were observed. By the evening my head began to hurt, I told the doctor and they started monitoring me more closely. Every hour throughout the night until the morning, the doctor came and took my blood pressure and temperature. In the morning, my temperature reached 37.5 degrees. I took some paracetamol and I experienced no more problems." MEDIA VIEW OF VOLUNTEERS THROUGH CAMERA SCREEN PROJECTION ON SCREEN READING (Russian): "SECHENOV UNIVERSITY. THE SCIENCE OF LIFE." BUILDING EXTERIOR SIGN READING (Russian): "THE SCIENTIFIC AND PRACTICAL CENTRE OF INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGY"
- Embargoed: 29th July 2020 12:58
- Keywords: coronavirus vaccine sechenov university voluneers
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CMX7L8N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Russian scientists hailed the results of their first clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday (July 15), saying it had been proved safe and that volunteers had developed an immune response.
Speaking to a crowded room without wearing masks, three of 18 volunteers monitored over a month at the Sechenov University said they all had experienced few side-effects.
A larger-scale trial, intended to ascertain the strength of the immune response produced by the vaccine and how long protection will last, is expected to begin in Russia in mid-August.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the pandemic. Of 19 in human trials, only two are in the final Phase III - one by China's Sinopharm and another by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
"We were primarily testing for safety," Elena Smolyarchuk, a department director at Sechenov University and one of the coordinators of the trial, said.
"On non-specific immunity we can only talk about preliminary results. These show a good, positive tendency, a strengthening of non-specific immunity," she said.
However, any final conclusions about the immune response among the volunteers will be drawn by the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, and are expected towards the end of the month.
Russia's health ministry will then decide whether to register the vaccine and begin a larger-scale trial, Smolyarchuk said.
The vaccine is administered in two doses and consists of two serotypes of the human adenovirus, each carrying an S-antigen of the new coronavirus, which enter human cells and produce an immune response, Smolyarchuk said.
It was first tested on primates and then administered to the volunteers on June 18.
The platform used for the vaccine was developed by Russian scientists over two decades and had formed the basis for several vaccines in the past, including three against Ebola, the Sechenov University's Vadim Tarasov said.
The defense ministry, which conducted a parallel trial of the same vaccine on a separate set of 20 volunteers, also said on Wednesday the group had been discharged.
"It's not scary anymore," Yuriy, a soldier and volunteer, said in a video shared by the Ministry of Defence.
(Production: Dmitry Madorsky, Polina Ivanova, Peter Scott)
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