With the race of developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine turning steadfast, Russia on Tuesday announced the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine offers sustainable immunity against the novel virus, said President Vladimir Putin.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, he said during a televised video conference call with government ministers. “One of my daughters had this vaccine. I think in this sense she took part in the experiment,” Putin said.
Putin further thanked everyone who worked on the vaccine’s development and described it as “a very important step for the world”. He hopes the country’s research body will start mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
However, the vaccine’s registration is still under trial as the final stage of production gets underway. Meanwhile, the President has urged the government to ensure vaccinations of up to 60% population.
The Russian health ministry had earlier said mass vaccinations could begin by October. Murashko had said members of “risk groups,” such as medical workers, may be offered the vaccine this month. Clinical trials of the vaccine began on June 18 and included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed an immunity. The first group was discharged on July 15 and the second group on July 20.
Russia’s first coronavirus vaccine is developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.
Vladimir Putin has been aggressive in his approach to developing a vaccine ever since the virus broke out. Many countries have questioned the President’s extensive push as a way to uplift national prestige while harming science and human safety.
The World Health Organization last week urged Russia to follow established guidelines and go “through all the stages” necessary to develop a safe vaccine.
Russian registered 4,945 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing its national case tally to 897,599, the fourth largest in the world.
Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in the world has reached a staggering 20 million. The United States, Brazil, Russia, and India remain one of the worst affected countries of the coronavirus.
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