Russia has introduced its third registered coronavirus vaccine for general use, Interfax reported Thursday, citing its developers and the Education and Science Ministry.
CoviVak, developed by the state-run Chumakov Research Center, is a two-dose, whole-virion vaccine that uses complete, but inactive, particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
Mass production of CoviVak began Thursday and batches will be shipped to Russia’s regions within the next few days, the Education and Science Ministry’s press service told Interfax.
Phase 3 clinical trials involving 3,000 volunteers will take place in parallel with the widespread rollout and are expected to wrap up in six months, Interfax cited Education and Science Minister Valery Falkov as saying.
These trials will include individuals with health conditions including cancer, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.
Chumakov director Aydar Ishmukhametov told Interfax the center plans to seek World Health Organization prequalification for CoviVak in the fall. Russia applied for WHO prequalification for its first registered vaccine, Sputnik V, in late October.
Speaking ahead of the vaccine’s registration in February, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said CoviVak “has proven its safety and effectiveness” in early clinical trials on volunteers.