Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin says avaccine developed in the country has been registered for use and one of his daughters has already been inoculated. Speaking at a government meeting on state television on Tuesday, Putin stressed that the vaccine has been shown to be effective during tests and offers lasting immunity to coronavirus.
“I know it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat that it has passed all the necessary checks,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
He said that one of his two daughters has received a shot of the vaccine and is feeling well. “In that sense, she took part in the experiment,”
Putin added that it is important to start mass production of the vaccine as soon as possible
Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be vaccinated.
Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine.
Many researchers at home and abroad have been skeptical, but questioned the decision to register it before the Phase 3 trial, which normally lasts for months and involves thousands of people.
Russia’s rapid pace “highlights its determination to win the global race” for a vaccine but “has raised concerns that it could put national prestige ahead of science and security,” Reuters said.
The vaccine was developed by the Moscow Gamaleya Institute after less than two months of human testing, reports Reuters.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Direct Investment Fund involved in the development, has defended Russia’s vaccine, saying it was based on many years of research into the Ebola and MERS vaccines.
“No corners have been cut,” Dmitriev told reporters on Tuesday, according to CBS News’ Alexandra Odynova. “Russian science is more advanced in this (field) than many other nations,” he said.
Dmitriev said he and his family members had participated in the trials and been vaccinated. He said they have not had any significant side effects.
Dmitriev revealed that Moscow has named the coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite.
He said the Phase 3 trials would begin on Wednesday, industrial production was expected to start in September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than 1 billion doses.
Speakers with reporters last week warned World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier that vaccines should go through all testing stages before being licensed.
The Organization for Clinical Trials has also expressed concern that Russia’s ambition to allow the civilian use of a vaccine against coronavirus before the end of clinical trials could put people at risk.