Employees of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N. F. Gamalei of the Ministry of Health of Russia tested their vector vaccine against COVID-19. The experiment was successful: immunity was confirmed, no negative effects were found, Alexander Gunzburg, the director of the center said.
"As for the developers, they tested it on themselves to protect themselves in the first place, so that they could continue developing the vaccine during the pandemic. Everyone involved in the development are protected accordingly," said Alexander Gunzburg.
Answering the question of whether there were any side effects, the academician replied:
"No. Everyone is alive, healthy and happy."
He did not specify the number of colleagues who tested the vaccine on themselves, although, according to him, it goes about a wide circle of employees of the center - developers, organizers of preclinical studies and technologists.
The vaccine that the research center is developing is a promising vector vaccine based on the DNA of the adenovirus, in which the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus gene was integrated. The adenovirus is used as a "container" to deliver the coronavirus gene to cells, launch the synthesis of the coat proteins of the new coronavirus (the 'corona,' which earned the coronavirus its name) and thereby "introduce" the immune system to the potential enemy. Vaccines of this type are known as vector vaccines.
In mid-May, Alexander Gunzburg said that the vaccine was successfully tested on small animals - mice and guinea pigs. He also said that if the trials on primates, and then on volunteers, end successfully, the production of the vaccine against coronavirus in Russia may begin in August. However, it will be impossible to provide the vaccine to all citizens of the Russian Federation, the academician said. The vaccine will be delivered to doctors, law enforcement officers and social workers in the first place.
The daily increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Russia remains at about the same level for three consecutive days, while the number of deaths in one day was the largest for the entire period of the coronavirus situation in Russia.
For the time being, there are a total of 326,448 cases of coronavirus infection in the country. The growth rate makes up 2.8%, and the indicator shows a steady downward trend. As many as 8,894 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in 84 regions, of which 42.2% did not have any clinical manifestations of the disease.
A total of 150 deaths were recorded in one day, which became a daily record for Russia. In total, 3,249 people have died from complications, while a total of 99,825 have recovered.