A medical worker holds a syringe containing a flu vaccine at a mobile flu vaccination center in central Moscow. Centers.
Vyacheslav Prokofyev | TASS | Getty Images
First results from studies with Russia's potential coronavirus vaccine show no significant negative side effects, a study published in the specialist journal The Lancet found on Friday.
"Preliminary results from Russian studies show that # COVID19 vaccine candidates did not lead to serious adverse events and elicited an antibody response," said a tweet from the journal's Twitter account.
The doctors involved in the studies conducted "two open, non-randomized phase 1/2 studies in two hospitals in Russia" on 76 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 60, according to the Lancet article. It added that the vaccine formulations tested were "safe and well tolerated".
"The two 42-day studies – including 38 healthy adults each – did not reveal any serious side effects in the participants and confirmed that the vaccine candidates elicit an antibody response," the authors of the study write.
It added, "Large long-term studies, including a placebo comparison, and further monitoring are needed to determine the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection."
The vaccine, called "Sputnik V" in Russia, was the first in the world to be registered after it was approved by the country's health authorities last month. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time that full production should begin in September.
The news drew criticism from around the world amid questions about its safety and effectiveness. At this point the vaccine had been through rapid phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in a small number of people, but no data from them were published. The Lancet study marks the first time trial results have been published in a prestigious international publication.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian state fund RDIF, which supports the vaccine, hailed The Lancet's report as confirmation of his country's efforts in an interview with CNBC.
"We were very interested in the Russian vaccine being published in the Lancet, one of the most important Western medicine magazines," Dmitriev told CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum. "It is very important to share information with the world … the results were very good, but basically the study showed that both antibodies and the cells' immune responses are very strong."
He added that Russia was "on track" to export the vaccine through November.
The Lancet is one of the oldest medical journals in the world, with editorial offices in New York, London and Beijing.