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More than 1 billion people to get Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in 2020-2021

MOSCOW: Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Friday that more than one billion people would receive its COVID-19 vaccine “Sputnik-V” in 2020-21, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has already signed two deals to export the vaccine abroad and on the Brazilian state of Bahia on Friday agreed to conduct Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine.

The vaccine, called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union, was hailed as safe and effective by Russian authorities and scientists following two months of small-scale human trials.

According to results of a study published last month byThe Lancet medical journal, the vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials.

The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100% of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side effects, The Lancet said.

“The two 42-day trials – including 38 healthy adults each – did not find any serious adverse effects among participants, and confirmed that the vaccine candidates elicit an antibody response,” The Lancet said.

“Large, long-term trials including a placebo comparison, and further monitoring are needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for preventing COVID-19 infection,” it said.

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