A paramedic at a mobile flu vaccination center in central Moscow holds a syringe with the flu vaccine. Centers.
Vyacheslav Prokofiev | Toss | Getty Images
Preliminary results of tests of Russia’s possible corona virus vaccine did not show major negative side effects, a study published Friday in the co-reviewed medical journal The Lancet revealed.
“It simply came to our notice then # COVID-19 Vaccine candidates did not lead to any serious incidents and expressed antibody response, ”a tweet from the magazine’s Twitter account read.
The Lancet article reported that the doctors involved in the experiments conducted “two open, randomized phase 1/2 studies in two hospitals in Russia” on 76 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60. It added that the tested vaccine formulations were “safe and well tolerated”.
“The 42-day trials – including 38 healthy adults – showed no adverse effects among participants and confirmed that vaccine candidates express an antibody response,” the authors of the study wrote.
It added: “Large, long-term trials and further monitoring, including a placebo comparison, are needed to establish the long-term safety and efficacy of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.”
The vaccine, known as “Sputnik V” in Russia, is the first in the world to be registered since it was approved by the country’s health regulators last month. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time that full-scale production would begin in September.
The news led to criticism from around the world amid questions about its safety and effectiveness. At the time, the vaccine was subject to rapid phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in a small number of populations, but no data were released from them. The Lancet study marks the first time that test results have been published in a well-respected international journal.
In an interview with CNBC, Grill Dimitriev, head of the RTIF, the Russian sovereign wealth fund that supports the vaccine, praised Lancet’s statement as a test of his country’s efforts.
“We had a lot of interest in the publication of the Russian vaccine (with) at Lancet, which is one of the leading Western journals on medicine,” Dmitriev told CNBC’s Juliana Tadelba. “Sharing information with the world is very important … the results are excellent, but basically both antibodies and the cell immune response are very strong, the study found.”
He added that Russia was “on track” to deliver vaccine exports by November.
The Lancet is one of the oldest medical journals in the world, with editorial offices in New York, London and Beijing.