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Russia completes volunteer recruitment for COVID-19 vaccine trial - fund

FILE PHOTO: A handout photo shows an employee demonstrating a vial with "Gam-COVID-Vac" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), during its production at Binnopharm pharmaceutical company in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 7, 2020. Picture taken August 7, 2020. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has recruited sufficient participants for its large-scale COVID-19 vaccine trial, known as a Phase III trial, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is backing the vaccine, said on Monday.

“In just two weeks, 55,000 volunteers have already been recruited in Moscow,” Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Said.

Russia began recruiting for what was billed as a 40,000-strong Phase III trial on Aug. 26. Initial results are expected in October or November this year, officials have said.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Toby Chopra