It is finally here!
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, Vladimir Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers as per news agency AFP.
Reuters reported that Russia is the first country to approved a vaccine against coronavirus Covid-19.
The Washington Post also reported that Russia’s coronavirus vaccine has been registered and his daughter is among those inoculated
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
When the pandemic struck Russia, Putin ordered state officials to shorten the time of clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines. Becoming the first country in the world to develop a vaccine was a matter of national prestige for the Kremlin as it tries to assert the image of Russia as a global power. State television stations and other media have praised scientists working on it and presented the work the envy of other nations, according to a news report by AP.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.
Putin said he hoped the country would soon start mass producing the vaccine.
The Moscow Times reported that Russian Health Ministry plans to begin mass production of the vaccine as soon as next month and launch a mass vaccination drive in October.
Its registration certificate on the Health Ministry website notes that the vaccine, an injection solution called “Sputnik-V,” will enter civilian circulation on Jan. 1, 2021.
Experts, including an industry body representing multinationals that conduct clinical trials in Russia, have called the vaccine’s swift registration without completing Phase III trials a “Pandora’s box.”
Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
The World Health Organization last week urged Russia to follow established guidelines and go “through all the stages” necessary to develop a safe vaccine.
DW Germany News said that after the first vaccine shot, his daughter experienced a slight fever, 38 degrees Celsius. Her temperature came down to just slightly above normal the next day. “After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high antibody count,” Putin said. He didn’t specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, received the vaccine.
ABC News said in their report that Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. However, scientists at home and abroad have been sounding the alarm that the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials — which normally last for months and involve thousands of people — could backfire.
Last month, it was also reported by GineersNow that Russia has succeeded its final clinical trial.