Coronavirus: Russia becomes first country to approve COVID-19 vaccine – but experts have doubts | World news

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Russia has become the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against the coronavirus, Vladimir Putin said, amid concerns that the process was rushed for political gain.

The Russian president said that one of his daughters had already been vaccinated and “was feeling well”.

The announcement came after less than two months of human testing, raising concerns that the country is putting national prestige ahead of science and security.

Scientists say the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials – which typically last for months and involve thousands of people – could backfire.

But Mr Putin said the vaccine had undergone the necessary tests and was found to be effective, and offered long-lasting immunity against COVID-19[feminine[femininepaving the way of massive inoculation of the Russian population.

Speaking at a government meeting, the Russian leader said: “I would like to repeat that he has passed all the necessary tests. The most important thing is to ensure the complete safety of the use of the vaccine and its effectiveness. ”

He added that one of his two daughters “took part in the experiment” and received two injections of the vaccine.

He said his daughter had a temperature of 38 ° C on the day of the first vaccine, but dropped to just over 37 ° C the next day.

She had a slight increase in temperature after the second dose of the vaccine, but “now feels fine and has a high number of antibodies”.

Mr. Putin did not specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, had received the vaccine.

The development was hailed as a historic “Sputnik moment” by Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, who compared it to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite.

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He added that the vaccine will be marketed under the name “Sputnik V” in foreign markets.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Dmitriev said the vaccine is “great for the health and economy of the world” and was “studied in thousands of people” before being approved.

“No shortcuts have been taken, Russia has basically used the proven vaccine platform that has been developed over six years using two simple fluid viruses to deliver the coronavirus peak,” he said.

“It’s a safe and very effective approach. We believe that the more vaccines, the better it is for ordinary people. “

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People wear face shields inside a Moscow metro train

Russia has already received foreign requests for one billion doses, he said, and international agreements have been made to produce 500 million doses per year.

The vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, is also expected to be produced in Brazil and clinical trials are expected to start soon in the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.

Medical staff, teachers and other at-risk groups will be the first to be vaccinated, Russian officials said.

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Vaccination will be voluntary

Mr. Putin stressed that the vaccination will be voluntary.

Large-scale production of the vaccine is expected to start in September, and mass vaccination could begin as early as October.

Phase 3 trials are normally considered an essential step before a vaccine receives regulatory approval.

National and international experts have expressed doubts about Moscow’s claims.

The Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO), a Moscow-based trade body representing the world’s leading drug manufacturers in Russia, this week urged the country’s health ministry to postpone approval until a final test is successfully completed.

In Germany, Peter Kremsner of the University Hospital Tuebingen said: “Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine. He is currently testing CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently said he was “absolutely confident” Russian spies try to sabotage or steal British scientists’ coronavirus vaccine research, describing the action as “scandalous and reprehensible”.

He told Sky News it was important to call on Mr Putin’s government for what he called “blatant” behavior at a time when “the world is coming together” to fight the COVID-19[feminine[feminine pandemic.

More than 100 possible vaccines are in development, including at least four in phase 3 human trials, according to WHO data.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus around the the world reached 20 million, experts believe that the actual figure is much higher.

Russia has nearly 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 15,000 deaths.

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