President Vladimir Putin of Russia has said that the country made history by becoming the first in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, Daily Mail UK reports.
The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population even as the final stage 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 sound science and safety.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
He said, “I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks.”
He said he hoped the country would soon start mass producing the vaccine.
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 World Health Organisation data.