COVID-19 Vaccine EpiVacCorona

EpiVacCorona (Russian: ЭпиВакКорона, tr. EpiVakKorona) is a peptide-based vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the VECTOR center of Virology. It consists of three chemically synthesized peptides (short fragments of a viral spike protein) that are conjugated to a large carrier protein. This protein is a fusion product of a viral nucleocapsid protein and a bacterial MBP protein. The third phase of a clinical trial, which should show whether the vaccine is able to protect people from COVID-19 or not, was launched in November 2020 with more than three thousand participants. The interim results of the Phase III study are expected to be announced in late 2021 or early 2022. According to the vaccine developers, the peptides and the viral part of the chimeric protein should immunize people who received this vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and trigger the production of protective antibodies. However, some experts in the field have expressed concerns about the selection of peptides for use as vaccine antigens. In addition, there are also serious concerns about the vaccine immunogenicity data, which have fueled independent civic research efforts and criticism by some experts. Meanwhile, the EpiVacCorona has received vaccine emergency authorization in a form of government registration in Russia and is available for vaccination outside the clinical trials. The vaccine delivered via intramuscular route and aluminum hydroxide serves as an immunological adjuvant.