Covid-19: the Russian army will test the vaccine on volunteer soldiers

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The Russian army will test a possible vaccine against the new coronavirus on 50 soldiers from a military research center in Moscow, the Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.

Russian researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Russia now has more than 420,000 cases, making it the third country with the most reported infections in the world, behind Brazil and the United States. Russian authorities have warned that without an effective vaccine, quarantine restrictions cannot be lifted.

The director of a major Russian research center told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that his laboratory was ready to test experimental vaccines against the new coronavirus as early as June.

Rinat Maksioutov, head of the Vektor state center, said during a meeting between Vladimir Putin and the directors of the main Russian research centers to plan a first phase of clinical trials of three vaccines starting June 29 on a sample of 180 volunteers.

Volunteer groups have already been created. We have received more than 300 requests, he told the Russian president.

Ongoing tests on mice.

According to Rinat Maksioutov, scientists at his laboratory near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk have developed vaccine prototypes based on six technology platforms. Tests are currently being carried out on mice, rabbits, and other animals to determine the most promising prototype for April 30.

He added that Vektor plans to carry out preclinical studies before June 22, just before testing on humans.

Rinat Maksioutov also said that the first human tests could begin as soon as the Ministry of Health allows. According to him, Vektor has human-tested vaccine technologies for other diseases that could be used to develop one against the coronavirus.

The Vektor Laboratory conducted a secret investigation into biological weapons during the Soviet period and contains samples of various viruses ranging from smallpox to Ebola.

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