Russian Federation plans mass coronavirus vaccination programme to begin in October

Henrietta Strickland
August 4, 2020

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the Gamaleya Institute - a state research facility in Moscow - had completed clinical trials of the vaccine.

Sanofi plans to reinvest potential vaccine profits back into coronavirus research and manufacturing capacity, according to a company spokesperson.

Under the USA deal, Sanofi and its partner, the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, will receive federal funding to pay for clinical trials as well as for manufacturing the vaccine.

Human studies for the Sanofi/GSK vaccine candidate are expected to begin in September.

The money will go toward clinical trials, scaling up manufacturing and purchasing 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Dr Fauci has said that the United States should have a "safe and effective" vaccine by the end of this year.

Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the global vaccine race, while Russian Federation has said it hopes to be the first in the world to produce a vaccine for the public, with a target date of September.

Sanofi's coronavirus vaccine relies on a protein-based technology that the company already uses to produce an influenza vaccine.

The Sanofi-GSK funding is provided by Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the US government program to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines available for Americans by January 2021.

"We're committed to making any vaccine that is developed through this collaboration affordable and through mechanisms that offer fair access for all people", GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley said in April.

The companies said discussions were also under way with the European Commission and other governments "to ensure global access to a novel coronavirus vaccine".

"The US government has a further option for the supply of an additional 500 million doses longer term", they added.

Under pressure, he later indicated it would be available to everyone at the same time.

The French drugmaker Sanofi said on July 31 that it had secured an agreement of up to $2.1 billion to supply the USA federal government with 100 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine, the largest such deal announced to date.

But the fast pace of production of the adenovirus-based vaccine- coming just five months after COVID-19 became widespread in Russia- has given pause to Western experts, who question the adequacy of testing for the drug.

Pfizer and BioNTech last week reached a US$1.95 billion deal to supply their coronavirus vaccine to the government, while Novavax Inc., which has yet to commercialize a medicine or vaccine, earlier this month announced a US$1.6 billion deal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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