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15 Sep, 2020 13:52

14% of volunteers testing pioneering Russian Covid-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ have experienced side effects, health ministry says

14% of volunteers testing pioneering Russian Covid-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ have experienced side effects, health ministry says

About one in seven volunteers who received a groundbreaking Russian coronavirus vaccine have complained of side effects such as muscle pain, weakness, and fever, according to the country's Minister for Health Mikhail Murashko.

Speaking to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Murashko explained that more than 300 people have already received the Sputnik V vaccine as part of the three-phase trial, and 14 percent have complained about their health.

“These are predicted side effects, and they usually disappear after a day, or at maximum, a day and a half,” the minister said.

Sputnik V is the world’s first coronavirus vaccine and was announced by President Vladimir Putin on August 11.

Following the formula’s registration, Russia announced that it would be asking for volunteers to participate in a wide-ranging final trial phase, involving 40,000 muscovites. The initial participants got their first shots last week, and will later receive a booster. As part of the trial, volunteers download a mobile app that they can use to report symptoms and to make video calls with medical professionals.

Russia’s homegrown vaccine is currently being produced by three large domestic enterprises, and there are plans to start delivering “large volumes at the end of November-December.” In August, Russia’s Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov claimed that the country would produce a thousand doses of vaccine per month before the end of the year.

Registered before the full set of three trial phases, the process of the vaccine’s creation has been criticized by many scientists abroad for its rapid pace of production and improper testing. However, at the start of September, respected British medical journal The Lancet published a study prepared by the developers of Sputnik V, showing it to be 100 percent effective, producing antibodies in all 76 participants of early-stage trials.

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