Volunteers who took part in a clinical trial for a Russian Covid-19 vaccine have been discharged from a military hospital in Moscow. A conclusion on how well it has worked is expected in early August.

Preliminary results indicate that the military’s proposed vaccine has triggered a proper immune response to Covid-19 in the young men and women who took part in the trial, while causing no significant side effects.

The two-phase trial was conducted by the Burdenko central military hospital in Moscow. During the first stage in June, the two components of the recombinant vaccine were, for safety, tested separately on two groups of nine volunteers.

After no side effects were detected in either group, the second stage of the trial was launched, with 20 volunteers getting both components of the vaccine on trial. Their isolation at the hospital came to an end on Monday after final tests were conducted by researchers.

The volunteers for the trial came from both the ranks of the military and from civilians. They spent more than 40 days under strict observation, first dealing with the stress from the uncertainty of receiving an experimental drug, and then with boredom and being separated from their loved ones. But at least they had plenty of time to catch up on their reading lists or to study for upcoming college exams.

The 20 subjects are to present again at the hospital in two weeks for a follow-up examination. Samples and data taken then will be added to results already accumulated during the trial, which will be used to determine how efficient and lasting the effect of the vaccine is.

The candidate vaccine, which the Russian military produced together with the civilian Gamaleya epidemiology center, is one of several currently under development in Russia.

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