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Russia has touted it’s two-shot EpiVacCorona vaccine as able to give patients immunity to coronavirus for six months. The second drug was developed by Vector State Research Centre, and will go on sale January 1. It was approved after testing on 100 volunteers in early-stage trials, but has not undergone mass testing trials to prove its safety. Scientists behind the jab have refused to published the results of the early-stage trials, but have insisted it is safe and said EpiVacCorona will enter stage-three trials after approval in November.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the second vaccine on TV yesterday.
The President claimed Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova and the head of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog Anna Popova were volunteers for the early test group.
He said: “The Novosibirsk-based Vector center has registered a second Russian coronavirus vaccine EpiVacCorona…
“We now need to increase production of the first vaccine and the second vaccine.”
Mr Putin then touted a third vaccine candidate, and promised it would be released soon.
The President revealed the Chumakov center of the Russian Academy of Sciences was behind the third candidate.
Mr Putin concluded by stressing his priority was to deliver the vaccines to Russia first.
It comes just two weeks after the President touted the Sputnik V vaccines, developed Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, as the worlds first effective jab for coronavirus.
But Mr Putin enraged health experts across the globe for rushing the vaccines out without stage-three trials.
In September, it was revealed one in seven people who trialled the Sputnik V vaccine suffered side effects.
Mikhail Murashko, Russia’s health minister defended the vaccine and said the side effects were normal, and touted the jab as safer than global competitors.
He said the Moscow Times: “Approximately 14 per cent have small complaints of weakness, muscle pain for 24 hours and an occasional increase in body temperature.”
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Dr Ohid Yaqub, senior lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, attacked the rush to approval, and said to The Sun: “We’re not at the stage where we need to start giving out half-baked vaccines”
“It’s unprecedented to completely skip a Phase 3 trial like this in modern medicine.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, previously expressed concerns about Russia’s approval of vaccines without stage-three testing.
He said in August: “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering it to anyone.
“Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic at best.”
Mr Putin also appeared on TV to announce Sputnik V’s approval two weeks ago, and made the bizarre claim one of his two daughter’s took the jab.
Russia has seen the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, at 1,346,380.
The country has also reported 23,350 according to Johns Hopkins University.
Chinese firm Sinopharm also reported it has developed a safe coronavirus vaccine yesterday, but they have tested the jab on less than 1,000 people.
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