Covid-19: Venezuela starts clinical trials of Russia’s vaccine

President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 14, 2020.

CARACAS, Oct 17 (NNN-TELESUR) — Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said that 2,000 volunteers are participating in the clinical trials of Sputnik, the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.

“The Russian vaccine is here and the tests have already begun… In addition, thousands of Chinese vaccines will come to the country,” Maduro said during a program broadcast by Venezolana de Television.

In the first half of 2021, once phase 3 of the clinical trials is completed and the protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO) are met, Venezuela will begin a mass vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus.

“This could happen in April… If it can be earlier, it will be better,” the Bolivarian leader said and explained that the vaccines will be distributed primarily to health workers, the elderly, teachers, and people who have any disease or vulnerability.

Last week, Health Minister Carlos Alvarado reported that the process of selecting volunteers for clinical trials would be done through a website. Subsequently, those chosen would go through a series of physical evaluations to determine their suitability for the clinical trial.

Health authorities established as conditions that the volunteers are over 18 years of age, do not suffer from respiratory diseases, do not have bad consumption habits, and do not have tattoos on the arm, since pigmentation causes reactions to contact with the vaccine.

Currently, thanks to an international cooperation agreement with Russia, Venezuela will be able to acquire Sputnik V and receive technology for its local production. — NNN-TELESUR