Russia begins mass trials of second coronavirus vaccine

The trials will be conducted in Moscow and several other cities

  
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Russia flag in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020.

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Russia flag in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

MOSCOW- Russia plans to begin mass trials of its second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona, on people aged over 18 on Monday, the RIA news agency cited the consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying.

EpiVacCorona, which is being developed by Siberia's Vector Institute, was authorised this month to carry out trials on 150 volunteers over 60 and 3,000 volunteers over 18, the watchdog has said.

The trials will be conducted in Moscow and several other cities including Kazan and Kaliningrad, the TASS news agency cited it as saying.

Coronavirus cases have surged in Russia since September, but authorities have resisted imposing a touch lockdown and have said that targeted measures are enough to cope with the crisis.

Russia said earlier this month that its other Sputnik V vaccine was 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim results. 

Authorities confirmed 26,338 new coronavirus cases on Monday, including 6,511 in Moscow and 3,691 in St Petersburg, taking the national total to 2,295,654 since the pandemic began.

They also reported 368 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 39,895.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Maxim Rodionov; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Toby Chopra and Nick Macfie) ((Tom.Balmforth@thomsonreuters.com))

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