Russia to Launch Mass Vaccination with EpiVacCorona in 2021

Some doses of the Russian EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Vector center, will enter civil circulation on December 10, while mass vaccination will start in 2021, Vector center division head Aleander Ryzhikov said Friday.

“I think that in 2021 it [the vaccine] will be available in almost every Russian region. <…> The closest date when it will enter civil circulation is December 10. Later, mass vaccination will start in 2021,” he told an online press conference in TASS.

On July 24, the Vector center received permission from the Russian Health Ministry to conduct clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine, named EpiVacCorona, on volunteers. The first volunteer was vaccinated on July 27. That phase of trials completed on September 30 and the vaccine was registered in mid-October.

The vaccine was developed on an advanced synthetic platform and consists of artificially synthesized short fragments of viral proteins – peptides – that make the immune system recognize and neutralize the virus. On November 16, the center obtained a permit to conduct post-registration clinical trials of the vaccine on volunteers aged over 60. A similar permit was issued on November 18 for trials involving 3,000 volunteers.