Russia’s Putin tests experimental intranasal Covid-19 vaccine
Putin also received a Russian-made Sputnik Light booster on Sunday, six months after his second dose of Sputnik V.
After receiving the booster shot, Putin volunteered to participate in the testing of the intranasal vaccine under development by the Gamaleya Center, maker of Sputnik V and subsequent single-dose Sputnik Light, said he during a televised meeting with members of the government.
Putin said he “felt nothing” after the intranasal vaccination. “Today, after these two procedures – the injection and the nose shape, the second part – I already started exercising this morning. So I can testify that everything is developing as our scientists say it is developing,” he told the ministers. .
In mid-October, the Russian Ministry of Health approved clinical trials of a nasal spray form of the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Center, according to RIA Novosti.
Gamaleya is still testing the efficacy of the nasal vaccine, according to Gamaleya’s deputy director Denis Logunov. “I must confess that it is an off-label administration, actually, as usual, we are testing it on our employees,” Logunov told Putin in a televised interview after administering the booster on Sunday. Putin responded by asking Logunov if he could “take part in this experiment.”
Logunov said the intranasal form was developed to “induce barrier immunity,” which with Covid-19 “refers to our immune organs in the nose and pharynx.”
“We also know that vaccines administered by parenteral method or intramuscular injection are effective, but they have a limited ability to induce immunity against so-called breakthrough infections and symptomatic diseases. We have to deliver the agent through the mucous membranes to induce barrier immunity.” .”
According to Logunov, the nasal vaccine “just needs to be finalized a little bit, then it will go into clinical trials, and after that we definitely plan to start rolling out the new vaccine.” It’s “convenient, painless, with the bare minimum of side effects,” he said.
According to the latest figures available as of October, 47.8 million Russians have received their first injection and 42.4 million have been fully vaccinated in a country of about 146 million inhabitants.
The country has recorded 262,733 deaths from Covid-19, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
CNN’s Anna Chernova reported from Moscow and Lindsay Isaac from London.