Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said, marking a milestone in the fight against the against the novel coronavirus but amid raising safety concerns in the West over the country’s accelerated clinical evaluations.
Russian officials have compared Tuesday’s registration of the vaccine with its health ministry to the Cold War-era space race, and Moscow hopes the landmark event will return some prestige to the country’s proud scientific legacy inherited from the Soviet Union.
The conditions of the vaccine’s development, however, have raised concerns in Moscow and in the West over the safety of the vaccine and fears that the Kremlin is sacrificing the safety of its citizens.
Scientists at the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute have employed military testing, accelerated clinical evaluations and shortened test-trial times in an attempt to be first with a vaccine. Russia hopes to use it in a massive immunization rollout at home and export it abroad.
“We should be grateful to those who have taken this first step, which is very important for our country and the whole world,” Mr. Putin told a government meeting, a Kremlin transcript showed.
“I hope we can start a massive release of this vaccine soon,” he said, adding that one of his daughters had taken the vaccine.
Speaking at a government meeting on Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.
Putin said that his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then it dropped to just over 37C on the following day.
After the second shot she again had a slight increase in temperature.
“She’s feeling well and has a high number of antibodies,” Putin added. He didn’t specify which of his two daughters received the vaccine.
The Health Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years.
Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that the vaccination of doctors could start as early as this month.
Large-scale production of the vaccine will start in September, and mass vaccination may begin as early as October, officials said.
Professor Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya institute that developed the vaccine, raised eyebrows in May when he said that he and other researchers tried the vaccine on themselves.
Human studies started on June 17 among 76 volunteers. Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder. Some in the first half were recruited from the military, which raised concerns that servicemen may have been pressured to participate.
Amid Russia’s rush to become the first to create a vaccine, the US, Britain and Canada last month accused Russia of using hackers to steal vaccine research from Western labs.
Despite not completing Phase 3 trials, Putin insisted the vaccine has undergone the necessary tests.
Also Read: THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT GINIMBI
Genius Kadungure aka Ginimbi was a popular Zimbabwean socialite and businessman.
He was also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of a gas company, Pioneer Gases which has interests in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. He was also the owner of Dreams Nightlife Club...read more