Russian scientists are planning to start clinical trials of the vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus. The trials will begin within two weeks as the authorities have approved the country’s first anti-COVID-19 drug. Russia has the world’s third-highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States and Brazil. The country has 449,834 corona cases so far. However, the official death toll remains low at 4,693. The nation’s researchers are working on almost 50 different vaccine projects.

What is Avifavir?

The drug was originally developed to combat severe forms of influenza. It is the most promising anti-COVID-19 drug in the world so far. The drug has the ability to disrupt the reproductive mechanisms of COVID-19 in clinical trials so it can shorten recovery times for patients with COVID-19. It has also been effective in the treatment of severe forms of influenza in Japan since 2014.

Russia plans clinical trials of the vaccine

The data from the Avifavir clinical trials suggests that it has high efficacy against COVID-19. The drug takes four days to eliminate COVID-19 disease. It has 80% efficacy and evidence of high antiviral effect. 65 percent of the 40 patients tested negative for COVID-19 after four days in the 10 days of trials and by the end of day 10 and 90 percent of the patients’ tests were negative. The patients haven’t reported any side effects after 10 days of trial.

The research of the antiviral drug Avifavir is going at 35 medical centers across Russia. It is the final stage of clinical trials that involve 330 patients. The drug is produced by a joint venture of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, and ChemRar Group.

Mikhail Murashko, the Russian Health Minister said at a press conference on 30 May that trials of a Covid-19 vaccine should commence within the coming two weeks.

Russia has approved the use of this anti-influenza drug to treat Covid-19 and will start delivering it to hospitals this month.