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Russian scientists plan to create first edible vaccine against COVID-19

Russia has announced to create the worlds’ first-ever edible vaccine against coronavirus.

The Institute of Experimental Medicine in Saint Petersburg (Russia) has announced its plan to complete in one year the preclinical trials of the world’s first edible vaccine against the coronavirus, which – they anticipate – will have a taste similar to that of ‘riazhenka’, a kind of very common fermented milk yogurt, informs RIA Novosti.

Alexander Dmitriev, director of the institute, told RIA Novosti said that preclinical studies of the yogurt-based vaccine are already underway and could be completed within a year.

The formula is expected to speed up the process of immunizing millions of people by mouth, although to complete the research, scientists need 200-220 million rubles, and now researchers are looking for extrabudgetary funding sources.

For his part, Alexander Suvorov, head of the department of molecular microbiology and the molecular genetics laboratory of pathogens at the same institute, stresses that both injectable and directly consumed vaccines lead to the formation of an immune response.

“Using simple language, genetically modified bacteria in powder form are poured, for example, into a tank with milk and, in about a day, a ready product is obtained that does not need to be cleaned of impurities. It only remains to be packaged”, Dmitriev explained.

The specialist recalls that the Institute of Experimental Medicine has extensive experience in vaccine development based on probiotics, live bacteria from which fermented dairy products are made. In fact, the institute already has a wealth of similar vaccines against flu, pneumococcus, and strep.

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