Russia becomes 1st country to clear COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

AUG 12 , 2020. 14 hours ago – 21:50 KYODO NEWS

MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia has become the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, and that one of his daughters has already been inoculated.

Speaking at a videoconference with his ministers, Putin stressed that the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, forms stable immunity and that its safety has been confirmed.

“As far as I know, the world’s first vaccine for the novel coronavirus infection was registered this morning,” he said, according to Interfax news agency.

But the move has stirred some concern as the health ministry approved the vaccine before the final stage of clinical trials begins. The pivotal phase 3 trial normally lasts for months and involves thousands of participants.

The Russian government said it will first vaccinate doctors, starting as early as this month.

The institute is planning to conduct the mass inoculation of Russian citizens once the final clinical trial begins, Interfax reported by citing one of its officials.

Putin also said one of his two adult daughters has received shots of the vaccine and is now feeling well.

The daughter had a temperature of some 38 C on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then it dropped to just above 37 degrees the following day, Interfax said.

CR:KYODO NEWS