The Sechenov University Center for Clinical Research in Moscow, Russia, has completed its first round of clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This makes it the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world to have completed human trials.
In June, Russia approved two clinical for different formulations of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. One was an intramuscular solution to be tested at the Burdenko Military Hospital. The other was a powdered form to be tested in Sechenov University. The approvals came after trials investigating the vaccines’ toxicity, safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness in animal models.
Rather than seeing whether the vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19, Alexander Lukashev, Director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical, and Vector-borne Diseases at Sechenov University, said that the objective of this study was to establish the safety of the vaccine for humans. And according to their results, they believe that it is safe.
The vaccine used by the researchers is a recombinant adenovirus vaccine. This means that, instead of injecting people with weakened or inactive forms of the coronavirus, they used synthetic agents that mimic their properties to induce an immuno-response capable of wiping out the real virus.
During the study, the participants were kept in isolation with limited contact to the outside world from before tests started to ensure they were not already infected. The first round of testing commenced on June 18th on 18 participants, while the second round happened on 20 volunteers on June 23rd.
After being given the vaccine, they were to remain in quarantine in the hospital for 28 days. Once released later this month, the volunteers will be further monitored to evaluate their immunity.
Although promising results, no information on when the vaccine will reach commercialization has been released. More data is also still needed on how effective the vaccine is at preventing infection by the virus.