The scientists in Russia have started testing prototypes of probable vaccines against the new coronavirus or COVID-19 on animals inside a laboratory in Siberia, consumer health regulator of the country said on Friday.

Russia has reported 199 cases of the virus so far with one death, however the figures are much lesser than many other European countries which are are facing the brunt of the deadly virus outbreak. But, in recent times the country has seen a spike in the number of cases confirmed.

Russia starts testing for vaccines

Coronavirus

Scientists in the Vektor State Virology and Biotechnology Centre in the city of Novosibirsk have developed vaccine prototypes based on six different technological platforms and began tests on Monday to try to work out how effective they are and in what doses they could be administered, the regulator said.

Scientists around the world have warned that the development of a vaccine is a lengthy and complex process that might only yield something for broader use in the next 12-18 months.

"Most often, laboratory mice and rats are used for such studies, ferrets, lower primates and other special lines of laboratory animals are also used," the Russian regulator, Rospotrebnadzor, said in a statement. Scientists expect it will be possible to start rolling out a vaccine in the last three months of 2020, it added.

(With agency inputs)