A state document published on Tuesday has revealed that Russia will test a nasal spray form of its Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 on adult volunteers, as the country fights to control soaring numbers of infections and deaths.
According to a document published on the state registry of medicines, the nasal spray will be administered in two doses in a clinic in St. Petersburg. The document did not specify the anticipated timeframe of the clinical tests.
Russia was quick to create and introduce its Sputnik V vaccine when the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, but take-up has been slow, with many Russians expressing distrust of the authorities and anxiety of new medical procedures.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin stated on Tuesday that the country needed to speed up its COVID-19 vaccination campaign after the country saw its greatest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.
Putin urged newly elected lawmakers to aggressively support efforts to have a larger proportion of the people vaccinated.
"Vaccination safeguards people from infection, from serious symptoms," Putin said. "We need to increase its pace."
The Kremlin has blamed the increased number of cases on an insufficient number of individuals being vaccinated.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stated that roughly one-third of the population had been inoculated.
Russian authorities announced in June that a nasal spray vaccine suitable for children aged 8 to 12 had been tested, and that the new drug would be available in September.
Alexander Gintsburg, the chairman of the Gamaleya Institute, which developed Sputnik V, said the spray for children used the same vaccine "only instead of a needle, a nozzle is put on."
Gintsburg said the study group tested the vaccination on children and found no negative effects, including no increase in body temperature in the test group, as reported by TASS.
"We're inoculating our little (patients) nasally;we are just administering the same vaccine as a nasal spray," Gintsburg said, without providing any other information about the study, such as the number of kids involved.
On Tuesday, Russia recorded 973 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest single-day toll since the pandemic began, as well as 28,190 new infections.