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23 May, 2020 12:59

Russian scientists hope to begin HUMAN TESTING on Covid-19 vaccine within weeks, having tried it on themselves first

Russian scientists hope to begin HUMAN TESTING on Covid-19 vaccine within weeks, having tried it on themselves first

Researchers in Moscow who acted as guinea pigs for their own coronavirus vaccine say they’re hopefully weeks away from starting human trials. If everything goes smoothly, the sought-after cure may enter production by summer’s end.

A scientific task force from the Russian National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology have already completed testing their coronavirus vaccine on animals, Alexander Gintsburg, the center’s director, told Russian media on Saturday. 

The pre-clinical tests on small animals and primates showed quite promising results, he revealed, saying the prototype appears to be efficient and safe. Now, the quest to produce the vaccine will move to the next stage, involving human trials – for which the researchers have to get government approval.

“I hope that we obtain this permission by June 15, as we’ve been planning, and begin clinical studies on the human population,” Gintsburg said. The center has already selected a pool of volunteers to proceed with the testing.

Also on rt.com Covid-19 mass screening: first results show 14% of tested Russians have coronavirus antibodies

Some of the center’s employees have already injected themselves with their formula to protect against the virus and to keep working during the pandemic. Close to 336,000 Russians have been diagnosed with coronavirus and over 3,300 have died, according to official data. 

The unofficial trials were reportedly successful, helping researchers become immune and stay “alive, healthy and happy,” as Gintsburg put it this week.

If the whole process goes according to plan, Russia may start production of its vaccine by the end of summer. However, the Covid-19 vaccination program will have to start small until production “multiplies,” the scientist warned. In his opinion, frontline doctors and the elderly should be the first to get it. 

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