Russia’s State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector" plans to register a new smallpox vaccine in 2021. It is currently undergoing clinical trials, the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing’s press service said, APA reports quoting TASS.
The federal service noted that currently, 334 volunteers aged 18 to 60 are taking part in the trials.
"The vaccine is planned to be registered based on the acquired data in 2021," the message says.
The watchdog noted that the new vaccine excludes six dangerous genes, which makes it safer than the existing vaccines that cannot be used by immunocompromised persons. The new vaccine "has an optimal genetic composition to form an immune response," the federal service says.
Smallpox is the only infectious disease that was beaten globally due to a mass vaccination program. The last case of smallpox in humans was documented in 1977 in Somalia. In 1980, victory over the disease was officially declared. Right now, only the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology "Vector" and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have the right to store and research samples of the virus.