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Venezuela ready to test Russian COVID-19 vaccine

Venezuela is ready to take part in the clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine and, if the trials are successful, use it and promote it on the local market, Russian Ambassador to Venezuela Sergei Melik-Bagdasarov told TASS on Wednesday.

"Even before Sputnik V (the name of the Russian vaccine - TASS) was registered, we had received an offer from our Venezuelan partners to take part in the clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine under development with the prospects of further vaccination of the population and its joint promotion on the local market," the diplomat said, adding that Venezuela has welcomed the news on the registration of the Russian vaccine.

However, it is too early to discuss the concrete dates for the supply of COVID-19 drugs and vaccine to Venezuela. "Unfortunately, the unilateral restrictive measures in violation of international law introduced by the US and several Western states against Caracas are stopping the legitimate Venezuelan government from ensuring that its people have everything they need despite the pandemic. The accounts are simply blocked," the diplomat said.

Despite this, active work is underway, the ambassador pointed out. "We hope to see Venezuela among the first states where the achievements of Russian medicine will prove their unquestionable effectiveness," he concluded.

On August 11, Russia became the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine, which was named Sputnik V. Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko informed that the vaccine created by the N. F. Gamaleya Federal Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology had shown its effectiveness and safety on the outcomes of clinical trials. It was created on a platform that had been used for the development of a number of other vaccines. According to the Russian Health Ministry, experience shows that such vaccines are capable of developing long-term immunity that lasts for up to two years. Dmitriev pointed out that Russia had received applications for more than 1 bln doses of the vaccine from 20 countries.

[Source: Tass, Rio de Janeiro, 13Aug20]

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