MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia became the first country in the world to approve regulation for the COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move praised by Moscow as scientific evidence. capacity.
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses the environmental situation in the town of Usolye-Sibirskoye in the Irkutsk region during a video conference call with officials at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia July 30 2020. Sputnik / Alexei Nikolsky / Kremlin via REUTERS
This development paved the way for mass vaccination of the Russian population, even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continued.
The pace of the Russian vaccine release shows their determination to win the global race for an effective product, but has raised concerns that they may be putting national prestige ahead of science and safe.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow̵7;s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been given to one of his daughters.
“I know it works pretty well, builds immunity, and I repeat, it passed all the necessary tests,” Putin said.
He said he hopes the country will soon start mass-producing the vaccine.
Health Department approval heralds the start of a larger trial with thousands of participants, more commonly known as a Phase III trial.
Such trials, which require a certain proportion of participants to catch the virus to observe the effects of a vaccine, are often considered a necessary precursor for the vaccine to get regulatory approval.
Regulatory authorities around the world assert that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccine will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show a growing public distrust of governments’ efforts to quickly produce such a vaccine.
Russian health workers who are treating COVID-19 patients will have the opportunity to voluntarily get the vaccine as soon as the vaccine is approved, a source told Reuters last month.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. According to WHO data, at least four children are in the final stages of human trials.
Reports by Maxim Rodionov, Vladimir Soldatkin, Polina Ivanova and Alexander Marrow; Written by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Edited by Andrew Osborn