Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday, reports AFP.
“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 on Tuesday.
“One of my daughters had this vaccine. I think in this sense she took part in the experiment,” Putin said.
Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
The World Health Organization last week urged Russia to follow established guidelines and go “through all the stages” necessary to develop a safe vaccine.
The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilisation of funding and research to rush through a vaccine that can protect billions of people worldwide.
The Russian leader noted that the first Russian COVID-19 vaccine forms stable cell and antibody immunity, reports TASS.
The Russian leader pointed out that "some people do not have any symptoms at all" after getting a vaccine shot.
Putin added that the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, has proven efficient during tests and promises to offer "sustainable immunity" against the coronavirus.
"I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,'' Putin said. The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency.
Earlier the Health Minister stated that clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry were over.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data, according to agencies.
The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.
The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before science and safety, reports Reuters.