President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (August 11) announced that Russia has developed the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine and claimed that it is “quite effective and forms a lasting immunity”. Developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry, the novel coronavirus vaccine has been dubbed as ‘Sputnik V’.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered in Russia. I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” Putin said.
He further revealed that a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been given to his daughter and that she is doing absolutely fine.
“One of my daughters got vaccinated. In fact, she took part in an experiment. After the first vaccination, she had a body temperature of 38 degrees Celcius and the next day slightly higher than 37 degrees, that’s all,” Putin added, hoping to start the mass-production of the vaccine as soon as possible.
Russia, who has been pushing hard to develop a vaccine, started the clinical trials on June 18 with 38 volunteers. The results were quite encouraging as all the participants developed immunity against the dreaded disease.
However, the registration of the vaccine is conditional as Phase 3 trials are yet to be conducted. The industrial production is likely to begin from September or October. As many as 20 countries have already pre-ordered more than a billion doses.
Experts question Russia’s fast-track approach
Several medical bodies and pharmaceutical companies have raised concerns over Russia’s vaccine as it is still under trials. They feel that the country rushed through the procedure in order to become the nation to launch a COVID-19 vaccine, which could lead to dire consequences.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) had directed Russia to follow all the established guidelines to develop a safe vaccine.
However, according to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Centre, the vaccine is completely safe and will not cause any harm to a person’s health.