Russia on Tuesday announced it had
granted regulatory approval to a Coronavirus vaccine, touted as the world’s
first to be registered, amid concerns over safety of the rapidly developed
President Vladimir Putin said the
vaccine developed by the state-run Gamaleya research institute along with the
Russian Defence Ministry was “safe” and that it had been administered to one of
“This morning, for the first time in
the world, a vaccine against the new Coronavirus was registered. I know that
it’s effective and forms sustainable immunity,” he said in a televised cabinet
session broadcast, according to The Moscow Times.
However, the vaccine’s registration
is conditional and the Phase-111 trials will continue while production gets
underway, said Health Minister Mikhail Murashko. This comes even as the Phase-3
human trials of the vaccine, an injection solution called ‘Sputnik –V’, was launched
only last week and estimated to take several months to complete.
Putin, though, stressed the vaccine
underwent the necessary tests. “…I repeat it had passed all the needed checks.”
Clinical trials began on June 18 and
included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed immunity. The first
group was discharged on July 15 and the second group on July 20.
Experts have expressed concern over
the vaccine’s swift registration without completing Phase-3 trials. The World
Health Organization had last week urged Moscow to follow established guidelines
and go "through all the stages" necessary to develop a safe vaccine.
According to reports, Moscow is set
to commence the vaccine production “soon” and has plans for a massive
countrywide vaccine drive by October.
Over 100 vaccine candidates are under various stages of development and at least four of them, including the one being developed by the Oxford University, are in the final human trials.