Russian COVID-19 vaccine approval imminent, source says

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Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine will win local regulatory approval in the first half of August and be administered to frontline health workers soon afterwards, a development source close to the matter told Reuters.

A state research facility in Moscow – the Gamaleya Institute – completed early human trials of the adenovirus-based vaccine this month and expects to begin large-scale trials in August.

The vaccine will win regulatory approval from authorities in Russia while that large-scale trial continues, the source said, highlighting Moscow’s determination to be the first country in the world to approve a vaccine.

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some Western media to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before solid science and safety.

“(Regulatory) approval will be in the first two weeks of August,” the development source said. “August 10 is the expected date, but it will definitely be before August 15. All (trial) results so far are highly positive.”

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