New Delhi: The Russian candidate vaccine for COVID-19 is expected to hit the market by August 10-12, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is likely to be approved for public use “within three to seven days of registration by regulators”, said the report.
The same vaccine was earlier reported to have completed successful human trials. In the second week of July, the vaccine candidate had only completed Phase-I human trials and its Phase-II began on 13 July, according to a report by TASS news agency.
A vaccine is generally not approved to be released in public for use till it completes three phases of human trials.
It seems that Russia is however was planning to finish its Phase-II trials early to approve the vaccine for use in public with Phase-III trials.
The Bloomberg report said the Gamaleya vaccine was likely to get “conditional registration” in August, which means that the vaccines would be approved for use even as Phase-III trials are carried out.
The production of the Russian candidate vaccine was expected to begin in September, as per the reports. Until the clinical trials are being completed, the vaccine is likely to be distributed only to health professionals, it said.
The Phase-I trial assesses the safety of the vaccine in human beings. It is generally being carried out on small number of people and runs from a few weeks to a few months. However, in Phase-II the ability of the vaccine to trigger an immune response against the virus is assessed. In this Phase, a few hundred volunteers are usually tested.
Lastly, in the third and final phase, the vaccine is generally conducted on several thousand volunteers. One group of volunteers are injected with the vaccine, whereas the other group is given a dummy vaccine. The volunteers lead their normal lives and assessed a few weeks later to see whether the vaccine has shown any resistance to the infection or not. This phase can take several months.
Health experts and scientists strictly warn that no vaccine should be released in haste. All safety and efficacy tests should be done rigidly before it is approved for use.