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As Covid-19 vaccine enters final stage of testing, Russia could be world’s first country with mass immunization program

As Covid-19 vaccine enters final stage of testing, Russia could be world’s first country with mass immunization program
Phase two of trials for a Russian-made coronavirus vaccine will end on August 3, to be immediately followed by a third, international phase. If successful, it could be the first effective Covid-19 solution to be mass-produced.

The vaccine, which has been developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology in conjunction with the Ministry of Defense, will soon begin clinical trials abroad.

“The third phase will not only take place in Russia, but also in a number of other countries," Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told reporters during an online press conference. “We expect to receive regulatory approval to start using the Russian vaccine in August-September.”

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Dmitriev also explained that Russia plans to produce 30 million doses of the vaccine domestically in 2020, with a potential 170 million more made abroad. The RDIF is currently in negotiations with Saudi Arabia to increase production capacity.

Speaking to Reuters, the RDIF head called the homegrown Russian product “possibly the first vaccine to be approved in the world.”

On July 15, Russia's Ministry of Defense announced that, after 28 days of study, no vaccine trialists had experienced “serious adverse side effects, health complaints, complications or adverse reactions.”

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