Russia has registered a second COVID-19 vaccine and is preparing to test it on 40,000 volunteers, according to Russian officials.
The vaccine, called “EpiVakKorona,” was produced by the ‘Vector’ State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Novosibirsk, a top state lab that since Soviet times has also been a key biological warfare center.
Unlike the first vaccine, Sputnik V, the new vaccine is not based on a modified adenovirus but instead is a “peptide” type vaccine that uses artificially synthesized fragments of the coronavirus itself to produce an immune response. It is administered in two doses, 21 days apart, according to Russian news agency TASS.
Caution must be used when giving it to patients suffering from chronic kidney and liver illnesses, as well as epilepsy and heart illnesses, TASS reported.
So far the vaccine has been tested on about 100 people, but it has not yet passed key clinical trials. The vaccine will now undergo, in effect, a phase 3 trial.
Sputnik V could be widely distributed in Russia by late October or early November, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev announced on Monday, according to TASS.
A third Russian vaccine is also on the way — produced by the M.P. Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immuno-biological Drugs, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday. A phase 3 trial for that vaccine will begin Monday.
ABC News’ Patrick Reevell contributed to this report.