Russia’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing. President Vladimir Putin has stated that one of his daughters has already been inoculated with the covid-19 vaccine. According to Vladimir Putin, the vaccine has undergone all the necessary tests and has proven it 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.
The move by the Russian Health Ministry paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue. The rapid speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective vaccine but this has also stirred concerns that it might be put national prestige before science and safety. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that finances the vaccine project, stated that the Phase 3 trials of the vaccine would start on Wednesday.
Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ for foreign markets, a reference to the world’s first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday. Russia has already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly-registered COVID-19 vaccine.
If the vaccine is really effective and works as stated by the Russian government, then it is really good news. Coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide.