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Russia starts clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine
Published in 17-6-2020
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MOSCOW (AP) Clinical trials of a Russian coronavirus vaccine have started Wednesday, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Two forms of the vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya research institute liquid and powder for injections will be tested on two groups of volunteers, 38 people each, the statement said. The participants will be isolated in two Moscow hospitals.

“Running clinical trials in the midst of a pandemic is a unique situation. So unprecedented measures have been taken all potential participants of the trial ... spent two weeks (quarantined) in a sanatorium for observation,” the ministry said, adding that the first injections are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The Gamaleya institute made headlines last month when its director, professor Alexander Gintsburg, made a statement that he and other researchers had tried the vaccine on themselves before the start of human studies.

He didn’t clarify how many people injected themselves with the substance, but told the Interfax news agency that no one experienced any side effects: “Everyone is alive and well and cheerful.”

In comments to RIA Novosti, Gintsburg insisted that he and others hadn't intended to test the vaccine they were merely looking to “protect themselves (from the virus) with the vaccine."

“It’s not a trial. It’s self-defense in order for us to continue working (on the vaccine). Losing a staffer (to the virus) would delay the work. Knowing what they’re developing, they consciously took this step. And so did I,” Gintsburg said.

Gintsburg's comments sparked criticism in the Russian medical community. The country’s Association of Clinical Research Organizations issued a statement condemning the actions of the researchers as a “crude violation...

Reference: www.chron.com