Russia has today approved the world’s first Coronavirus vaccine.
The approval is seen as a major breakthrough for the fight against the pandemic.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin announced the approval on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, in a televised address monitored by DGN Online.
According to Mr Putin, his country Russia has become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.
Moscow hailed the approval as evidence of its scientific prowess.
DGN Online understands that the approval is to pave the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continues.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin announced that the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
According to him, “I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks.”
President Putin indicated that he hoped the country would soon start mass producing the vaccine.
Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.
Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.
Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments’ efforts to rapidly produce such a vaccine.
Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine’s approval, a source told Reuters last month.
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.
By Melvin Tarlue