Russia to begin clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine on military troops

Russia is all set to begin two-month clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine from Wednesday after recruiting dozens of volunteers among its ranks in military troops.

The Russian military confirmed that it has recruited 50 volunteers including five female military personnel to conduct clinical trials of one of 47 COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of development.

The health officials and bioweapon researchers of Russia, which is the third most-affected country by the pandemic with more than 423,000 cases since its outbreak, are jointly working to develop COVID-19 cure.

The military said preclinical trials for its vaccine wrapped up Monday, reported The Moscow Times.

“Fifty military personnel, including five women, have volunteered to test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. adding that the volunteers from the various branches of the Russian military have been ruled to be disease-free following one month of tests and monitoring.

They will be moved Wednesday to the grounds of the Defense Ministry’s Microbiology Research Institute in the Moscow region “for a preliminary in-depth medical exam and preparations for the experiment.”

Last week, President Vladimir Putin had been informed by the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine would be completed by late July.

Russia’s health minister said in May that a Covid-19 vaccine would be available as soon as late July, whereas, the United States (US) officials hope to develop one by the first half of 2021.

The World Health Organization (WHO) data estimates that more than 100 draft vaccines were in development worldwide as of late April. International health experts say even the most optimistic timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is at least 12-18 months.

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