Putin Announces Russia Has the First Approved COVID-19 Vaccine

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On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is the first to approve a Covid-19 vaccine after just under two months of conducting human trials.

The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow as well as the Russian Ministry of Defence and was named “Sputnik V” after the satellite launched by the Soviet Union. Putin said that the vaccine is effective and claims that it has passed all necessary checks. He added that the vaccine was tested on one of his daughters, who apparently had a high fever and after two vaccine shots, her temperature had gone down and she had a high antibody count.

The announcement was met with concerns that Russia may have rushed to have the first approved vaccine for political gain as it had not gone through the Phase 3 trial, where a vaccine is tested across thousands of participants to ensure its safety and efficacy.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also announced that they are in contact with Russian health authorities regarding the pre-qualification of the vaccine. The organisation says that pre-qualification includes the reviewing and assessing the safety and efficacy data by the WHO.

It is reported that mass production of the vaccine will start in September and will be given to health workers and teachers on a voluntary basis. By October, it is expected that Russia will start a mass roll-out across the country.