Clinical tests of Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine kick off in Belarus – agency

TASS Russian News Agency | Sep 15, 2020 at 8:04 PM


MINSK, September 15. /TASS/. Clinical tests of the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine have been launched in Belarus, the country's acting Health Minister Dmitry Pinevich said on Tuesday.

"The procedure of tests begins from the study of the dossier, from the moment of selection centers they will be held in. Well, it can be said the tests have kicked off," BelTA agency quoted him as saying.

He said however that so far the vaccine is not used in volunteers. It will be done after all preliminary procedures are over, he said, adding that it may take about a month.

According to BelTA, the tests will be coordinated by the Belarusian Center for Tests in Public Health.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during Monday's talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi that Belarus had joined the final stage of the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine tests. He said it would make it possible to organize production of the vaccine and ensure proper level of vaccination.

On August 11, Russia registered the world's first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, and its clinical trials were successfully completed in June-July. The vaccine was developed on a platform that had been used for a number of other vaccines. According to the Russian health ministry, these vaccines have proved their ability to form lasting immunity for a period of up to two years.