Russia to test coronavirus vaccine on soldiers

MOSCOW – Russia has announced that it will begin clinical trials of a vaccine against COVID-19 in 50 soldiers, who have volunteered to participate in the test.

“To verify the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, 50 military personnel have been selected, including 5 women, who have volunteered to participate in the trials,” the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

The vaccine was prepared with the participation of military specialists from the Scientific Research Center No. 48 of the Ministry of Defense, in one of whose facilities the clinical trial will be carried out.

According to the ministry, the first group of volunteers will enter the center on Wednesday, where they will undergo exhaustive medical examinations prior to the start of clinical tests.

On May 26, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigú informed President Vladimir Putin that clinical trials of the vaccine will be completed before the end of July.

The Russian Government has announced that seven scientific centers in the country are working on the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 and medicines to combat this infectious disease.

Last weekend the Ministry of Health announced the registration of the first specific drug for the treatment of COVID-19. According to its creators, the drug, Afivavir, developed from the Japanese antiviral Favipivarir, is highly effective against the new coronavirus and on the 11th of next day, hospitals will receive enough medicines for 60,000 treatments.

“We are focused on finding a pharmaceutical component to control the (epidemic) situation. If we obtain medical technology with the help of drugs, we will return to the normal channel,” Russian Health Minister Mikhail Musrashko was quoted as saying by Interfax agency.

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Meanwhile, according to reports in Russian media, bioweapons researchers are working with health officials on developing a coronavirus vaccine, one of 47 that Russian officials say are in various stages of development.

Russia’s health minister said in May that a Covid-19 vaccine would be available as soon as late July. On the other hand, U.S. officials hope to develop one by the first half of 2021.

Russia is the world’s third most-affected country by the pandemic, with more than 423,000 coronavirus cases and over 5,000 deaths since its outbreak began in early March. So far, six and a half thousand people have been infected in the Russian armed forces; more than four thousand three hundred of them have already been discharged.