Russia’s Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.
Putin said that the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, has proven efficient during tests and promises to offer “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus.
The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated and is feeling well.
“One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing,” Russian state news agency TASS quoted Putin as saying.
Russian health authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to receive shots of the vaccine.
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Russia is the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine. As countries worldwide race to produce the first vaccine, health experts warn that speed and national pride could compromise safety.
Scientists in Russia and abroad have questioned Moscow’s decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people.
Vaccines typically take several years to test and produce on a large scale, but Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary trials.
More to follow…
mvb/dr (AP, Reuters, AFP, EFE)