As world’s first Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, enters third phase trial, elderly scientists successfully test it on themselves

With volunteers for Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine showing no major side effects, testing has begun on the elderly. Older workers from the institute which created the formula have successfully trialed it on themselves.

Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute was thrust into the international limelight last month when it was revealed that it had formulated the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine. According to Alexander Gintsburg, the Institute’s director, between 10 and 15 scientists, aged from 70 to 80 were vaccinated without any complications.

“They are all fit, healthy, active, they give lectures, look after patients, and play sports,” Gintsburg said, highlighting that the workers were already in good shape before they were injected with Sputnik V. Gintsburg made international headlines in May, when it was revealed that he had already taken the vaccine, 3 months before it was officially registered. Aged 68, he also reported no adverse effects.

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Announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 11, Sputnik V created headlines around the world. It was registered after just two of the standard three trial phases, prompting international criticism from epidemiologists that it was rushed. According to the Gamaleya Institute head, 40,000 people will soon take part in a third-stage trial, including volunteers over the age of 60.

On Wednesday, Gamaleya employee Fedor Lisitsyn told the Rossiya-24 TV channel that, thus far, no volunteers have experienced “serious complications.” However, despite the observed safety of the vaccine, all those who wish to participate in the Sputnik V trial must take a blood test, an antibody test, and an allergy test before being admitted.

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