Russia tests COVID-19 vaccine as nasal spray for children - agencies

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Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, shows bottles with Sputnik-V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia September 24, 2020. Picture taken September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/File Photo

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MOSCOW, June 12 (Reuters) - Russia has tested a nasal spray form of its COVID-19 vaccine that is suitable for children aged 8-12, and plans to launch the new product in September, the scientist who led the development of the Sputnik V vaccine said on Saturday.

Alexander Gintsburg, who heads the Gamaleya Institute that developed Sputnik V, said the spray for children used the same vaccine "only instead of a needle, a nozzle is put on", the TASS news agency reported.

The children's shot is expected to be ready for distribution by Sept. 15, Gintsburg was quoted as saying during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

The research group tested the vaccine on children aged between eight and 12 and found no side effects among the test group, including no increase in body temperature, Gintsburg said in comments reported by the TASS news agency.

"We are inoculating our little (patients) nasally, we are just administering the same vaccine as a nasal spray," Gintsburg said, without giving further details about the study such as how many children were involved.

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Writing by Polina Ivanova Editing by Helen Popper

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