MOSCOW, Oct 15 (Reuters) - A Russian firm said on Friday it had begun trials of the Betuvax-CoV-2 vaccine against COVID-19, the second vaccine of its kind produced by a private Russian company, TASS news agency reported.
The first and second phase trials, held by the Human Stem Cells Institute, will involve 170 people based in the cities of St. Petersburg and Perm and are expected to run until September next year, TASS reported.
Biocad, another private company, began trials for its own vaccine against COVID-19 last month, Interfax reported.
Russia has so far approved vaccines developed by three state institutes, including the two-dose Sputnik V.
Russia was quick to roll out Sputnik V when the pandemic struck last year, but take-up has been slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products.
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia needed to speed up its vaccination campaign against COVID-19. The country on Friday reported its highest single-day case and death tallies since the start of the pandemic.
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