Oct 15, 2020
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What is known about the second Russian coronavirus vaccine?

The second vaccine against COVID-19 has been registered in Russia. The drug called "EpiVacCorona" was developed by scientists of the Novosibirsk State Scientific Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector". The vaccine has already passed state registration. According to the registration certificate, it will be put into civil circulation from January 1, 2021.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana GolikovaUnlike Sputnik V, this vaccine was not produced on the basis of adenovirus (a family of DNA-containing viruses of vertebrates that do not have a lipoprotein envelope), but was created from artificially synthesized short fragments of viral peptide proteins. At the first stage, EpiVacCoron was tested by 100 people. At the stage of post-registration clinical trials in different regions of Russia, 40 thousand volunteers will be attracted to participate in vaccine trials.

What is known about the EpiVacCorona vaccine?

EpiVacCorona is a one-component peptide vaccine against COVID-19. According to Head of the Department of Zoonotic Infections and Influenza of the Novosibirsk Center "Vector" Alexander Ryzhikov, "EpiVacCorona" contains neither the virus nor its genome.

The press service of Rospotrebnadzor reported that "the active principle of the vaccine are synthetic analogues of those regions of viral proteins through which the immune system recognizes a viral particle, the so-called epitopes."

The directory of registered medicines says that the peptide antigen vaccine is used to prevent COVID-19. The suspension for intramuscular administration (0.5 ml) contains chemically synthesized peptide antigens of protein 3 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, conjugated (i.e., connected) to a carrier protein. Also, the vaccine includes auxiliary substances: aluminum hydroxide, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate, sodium chloride and water for injection. The vaccine does not contain preservatives and antibiotics.

How long does immunity last after vaccination?

The vaccine stimulates the production of immunity against the coronavirus infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus after two intramuscular administrations with an interval of 21 days. According to observations of primates who received the vaccine in the spring of this year, after vaccination, immunity from coronavirus remains for at least six months, but the vaccine does not give lifelong immunity.

As the developers of the vaccine note, after the appearance of a foreign protein in the body, a full-fledged antibody and cellular immunity is formed. “We have designed a complex of epitopes (areas on the surface of a protein molecule through which the immune system recognizes“ friend or foe ”), the immune response to which can block the vital functions of the coronavirus,” Ryzhikov said in a live Instagram feed of Rospotrebnadzor.

Are there any contraindications for use?

The directory of registered medicines says that contraindications to the use of the EpiVacCorona vaccine are:

  • hypersensitivity to the components of the drug (aluminum hydroxide and others);
  • severe forms of allergic diseases;
  • reaction or post-vaccination complication to a previous vaccine administration;
  • acute infectious and non-infectious diseases, chronic diseases in the acute stage;
  • immunodeficiency (primary);
  • malignant blood diseases and neoplasms;
  • pregnancy;
  • period of breastfeeding;
  • children under 18 years of age (due to the lack of data on efficacy and safety).

The press service of Rospotrebnadzor notes that when creating a vaccine, elements that could cause an immunopathological state of the body (body reactions that develop as a result of immunity disorders) were excluded from its composition. In particular, the vaccine does not provoke an antibody-dependent increase in viral infection in vaccinated people (a phenomenon in which already existing antibodies in a person's blood lead to an increase in infection).

During the period of clinical studies, all volunteers felt well, no adverse reactions were recorded. According to Golikova, the new vaccine is characterized by “lack of reactogenicity (the property of a vaccine to cause side effects when administered, - approx. and a sufficiently high level of security. "

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