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23 Oct, 2020 11:59

As Covid-19 crisis deepens, Russian Health Minister reveals Sputnik V vaccine is performing well in large scale final trial

As Covid-19 crisis deepens, Russian Health Minister reveals Sputnik V vaccine is performing well in large scale final trial

The world's first coronavirus vaccine is performing well in post-registration trials, according to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko. He also revealed that production has cranked up and nationwide deployment is imminent.

“We were the first in the world to register a vaccine, Sputnik V,” Murashko said on Friday. “It is currently undergoing testing, including observations on its effectiveness, and is showing great results.”

Sputnik V, which was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 11, is currently in its third and final stage of clinical trials, involving 40,000 Muscovite volunteers. According to the Moscow mayor's office, everyone inoculated will be tracked by medical professionals for six months, and can report side effects using a mobile app. A quarter of the volunteers will be given a placebo.

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The vaccine is also being trialed in Belarus, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, and will soon undergo testing in India.

While the final phase is ongoing, Russia has already begun making Sputnik V in large quantities. According to Murashko, “the results of the scaling up of production are impressive.”

Earlier this week, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov noted that the number of Sputnik V doses produced each month may increase five times between October and December, with the volume reaching seven figures before the end of the year.

“By the end of the month, we want to reach roughly 300,000 doses, in November about 800,000, approaching 1.5 million in December,” Manturov told the Rossiya 24 news broadcaster.

On Wednesday, Putin revealed that selling the Covid-19 vaccine on the world market could generate around $100 billion for Russia. On August 11, the day Sputnik V was registered, the country received the news that 20 countries around the world had already ordered a billion doses.

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