A Russian state laboratory's vaccine for the novel coronavirus is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered next week, a senior health official said on Friday.
"Currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe," Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax.
Another senior health official had said last month that the vaccine was expected to be mass produced in September. Russia has recorded the world's fourth largest coronavirus caseload, with more than 875,000 cases.
The vaccine was developed by the Russian state's Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which announced two months ago that the vaccine had produced immunity in all test subjects without negative side effects.
Tested on soldiers
The vaccine was initially tested on volunteers from the institute and then soldiers from the Russian military. "There were no side effects or abnormalities" detected among the volunteer soldiers, Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement this week.
"The research results clearly showed that all volunteers had a clear immune response resulting from the vaccination," the Defence Ministry said.