Russia is currently testing its main experimental vaccine, known as Sputnik-V, on 40,000 people in Moscow. It has already begun vaccinating frontline workers, but only in small numbers
Russia has temporarily halted its COVID-19 vaccine trails due to high demand and shortage of doses, news agency Reuters reported, quoting a representative at the firm running the trials.
"It’s related to the fact that there’s colossal demand for the vaccine and they are not producing enough to keep up," the official representing Crocus Medical said. The firm has been running the trials along with the Russian health ministry.
The official added that vaccination will re-start around November 10.
However, Alexei Kuznetsov, aide to Russia’s health minister, told the news agency that the human trial of the vaccine, named Sputnik-V, continued.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"The target of 40,000 vaccinated volunteers will be met," Kuznetsov said.
Russia is currently testing its main experimental vaccine, known as Sputnik-V, on 40,000 people in Moscow. It has already begun vaccinating frontline workers, but only in small numbers.
The development comes against the backdrop of reports suggesting that Russia is facing challenges scaling up production of its main COVID-19 vaccine due to problems with equipment availability.
"There is one question right now and that's providing for industrial production (of the vaccine) in necessary volumes," Russian President Vladimir Putin said, speaking by video link to an investor forum in Russia.
"There are certain problems with this, related to the availability, or lack, of the necessary equipment. Hard materials that are needed for the roll-out of mass production," he said.Moscow aims to produce 300,000 doses of the vaccine this month, followed by 800,000 in November, and 1.5 million in December, reaching significantly higher volumes in early 2021.