In a significant development, Russia announced on Wednesday (October 14) that it has granted regulatory approval to another coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine named EpiVacCorona comes after Russia recently granted similar approval to its first COVID-19 vaccine named Sputnik V. Notably, Sputnik V is also the first vaccine candidate in the world to attain regulatory approval.

“I have a nice piece of news. The Novosibirsk-based Vektor Centre has registered a second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Developed by Siberia-based Vector Institute, EpiVacCorona completed its early-stage human trials in September. The pharmaceutical company is yet to publish the results of human trials and Phase III trial of this vaccine is yet to begin.

“We need to increase production of the first and second vaccine. We are continuing to cooperate with our foreign partners and will promote our vaccine abroad,” Putin said.

“Novosibirsk-based Vektor Centre has registered a second coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona. Unlike with the first Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, which is an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, the new one is a promising synthetic vaccine based on peptide,” the Russian government said.

Sputnik V, which was developed by Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, was licensed for use in Russia in August. Sputnik V was also registered before Phase III trials just like EpiVacCorona. A human trial of Sputnik V is currently under way in Moscow for it.

TASS news agency reported that the human trial of the new vaccine candidate, EpiVacCorona will begin in November or December and it will involve around 30,000 participants.

“The first batch of 60,000 vaccine doses will be produced in the near future, and the Vektor Centre will launch post-registration clinical trials in a number of Russian regions involving 40,000 volunteers. I would like to add that simultaneously the centre also plans to start clinical trials on 150 people aged over 60,” Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said.

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