Russia plans to start mass vaccination in October

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Russia intends to start in October a wide vaccination against covid-19 for the population. The plan was announced this Saturday, 1st, by the Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, according to international news agencies. He indicated that the idea is to vaccinate health professionals and teachers first.

Earlier this week, Russian officials indicated that a Russian vaccine, under development by Instituto Gamaleyafrom Moscow should be registered by mid-August, allowing for more comprehensive vaccination. According to Murashko, the vaccine, which uses adenovirus as a base, has already completed clinical tests and documentation for its registration is already being prepared.

Part of the international media has been criticizing the speed of the vaccine approval process, and questions whether the Russian government is placing international prestige above science and the safety of the population. The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, compared Russia’s success in developing a vaccine to the launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, by the Soviet Union in 1957.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Russia has so far registered 843 thousand cases of infection with the new coronavirus and 14 thousand deaths, being the country with the fourth highest number of infected and the 11th place in the list of nations with the highest number of deaths.

Worldwide, the university has a total of 17.62 million cases of covid-19, of which 4.56 million in the USA, the country with the highest number of infected, followed by Brazil, with 2.66 million, and India, with 1.69 million. The number of deaths totals 680.5 thousand, with 153.39 thousand registered in the USA, 92.47 thousand in Brazil and 46.68 thousand in Mexico.

Below, understand the stages of vaccine development:

  • Exploratory or laboratory phase: Initial phase still restricted to laboratories. Time when tens and even hundreds of molecules are evaluated to define the best composition of the vaccine.
  • Pre-clinical or non-clinical phase: After defining the best components for the vaccine, animal tests are performed to confirm the data obtained in in vitro experiments.
  • Clinical phase: It is the testing of the product in humans. This phase of the process is divided into three:
  • Phase 1 – the first step has the main objective of testing the safety of the product. Few volunteers, from 20 to 80, usually healthy adults, are tested.
  • Phase 2 – the second stage of testing in humans looks more closely at the safety of the new product as well as its effectiveness. In general, a slightly larger group is used, which can reach hundreds of people.
  • Phase 3 – in the last step, the objective is to test the product’s safety and effectiveness specifically in the target audience. In this step, the number of participants can reach thousands. Even after approval, a new vaccine continues to be monitored for possible adverse reactions.

/ With information from international agencies

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