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01 October 2020, 13:22

First Belarusian volunteers vaccinated with Russian coronavirus vaccine

MINSK, 1 October (BelTA) – The vaccination of volunteers with the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V as part of a double blind randomized placebo-controlled study has begun in Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has delivered the first batch of the Russian vaccine to Belarus for clinical trials. The fund finances the clinical trials in Belarus. One hundred people are supposed to take part in the trials. The vaccine was developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after Honorary Academician N.F. Gamaleya of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.

According to Sergei Chernyak, a clinical trials specialist with the Russian company IPHARMA, all the 100 volunteers have already been selected. The trials require relatively healthy men and women aged 18-60. They may have some chronic diseases out of the exacerbation phase. The medics monitor the health of the volunteers after the injection in order to track any reactions.

The volunteer may be free to go one hour after the injection. “Just like with flu vaccination people may experience a slightly higher body temperature or some local hyperthermic reactions,” the specialist added.

The first two volunteers were vaccinated in Minsk city clinic No.28 on 1 October. Andrei Metlitsky will join them within the next few days. The man said he had learned about the trials from mass media and had found all the necessary information on the Healthcare Ministry website. “I want me and people around me to be safe. I always get vaccinated. I don't really get sick. But I would like this infection to miss me and my family,” he said.

The clinic's Head Physician Larisa Kazak stressed that the clinic is compliant with international requirements and is properly certified. Clinical trials of various medications have been performed here for years. “We hope these clinical trials will be a success and the international community will get an effective solution for fighting this dangerous infection,” she added.

Belarus is the first country to begin clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine after it was registered in Russia. The trials will take place in eight healthcare institutions in Belarus, which have been chosen as research centers. Two Belarusian clinics have already received the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine.

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