Some countries have successfully controlled the coronavirus outbreak, but the rest of the world now faces another surge of new infections. Many blame the removal of imposed restrictions against the recommendations of health experts. Meanwhile, there have been several promising developments regarding the clinical trial of various vaccine candidates. The latest is another Russian jab reportedly tested by the Vector Virology Institute in Siberia, which completed its Phase II trials recently. So far, the officials overseeing the experiments claim the results were favourable.

According to Reuters, the COVID-19 inoculations were using a peptide-based formulation. Around 100 volunteers were involved in the clinical trials which started on July 27. The information was sourced from the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor). "Today ... the final group of 20 volunteers was released from hospital," it noted in a statement.

The state watchdog added: "All 100 volunteers were vaccinated with two doses and have completed a 23-day monitoring period in hospital. The volunteers are feeling good." The data collected and results will be published on Sept. 30. This arrives shortly after Russia's first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute -- Sputnik V -- was approved to proceed with late-stage testing.

In a related report, jabs from Moderna and AstraZeneca are already in the final phases of human testing, while GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur recently began theirs. The latest announcement comes from Pfizer and BioNTech as both look forward to regulatory approval as early as next month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense inked a $1.95 billion agreement with the two biotech firms a few months ago.

WHO warns Russia of virus vaccine approval
The World Health Organization warned any approval of the Russian vaccine would require rigorous review of data to show its safety and efficiency. Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout

Targeting 100 million doses before the year ends and up to 1.3 billion doses next year, the BNT162 vaccine candidate is just waiting for authorities to grant approval for emergency use. BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said: "Yes, we believe that we have a safe product and we believe that we will be able to show efficacy." The jab in question purportedly induced the desired immune response among young adults and the elderly, Sahin elaborated. Moreover, only minimal side effects were recorded such as headaches and fever.