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Russia sees opportunity to export Covid-19 vaccines, tests & antiviral medications – health minister

Russia sees opportunity to export Covid-19 vaccines, tests & antiviral medications – health minister
Just a few days after one of Russia's top scientists expressed high hopes that Moscow is close to developing a working coronavirus vaccine, the country's health minister is already thinking about how to distribute it globally.

Mikhail Murashko says Russia is ready to supply the world market with antiviral medication, vaccines, and diagnostic kits for Covid-19, which are in huge demand due to the prospects of a new spike in cases as the world emerges from lockdown.

The ministry is already working on preparations for mass immunization once Moscow's Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has finalized trials. Researchers have already reported that the first volunteers have had no complications or adverse reactions.

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“Given the risk of a second wave of the pandemic, Russia is ready to supply direct antiviral agents to the global market, including medication for the treatment of cytokine storms, test systems, and vaccines,” Murashko said during the online summit ‘Global Goal: Unite for Our Future’ at the weekend. 

Murashko also pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, Russia has been supporting countries in Europe, America and Asia, as well as international institutions, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union and the World Health Organization.

Earlier this month, the Russian Ministry of Health approved the medication Avifavir (an adaptation of the existing Japanese drug Favipiravir) for the treatment of the coronavirus. It has been described as “perhaps the most promising drug against Covid-19 in the world” by Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

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Notably, Dmitriev was one of the first to volunteer to trial the home-grown Russian coronavirus vaccine from the Gamaleya Institute. He has reported no negative effects so far.

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