- Russia aims to have a COVID-19 vaccine approved for public use by August 10, making it the world’s first approved vaccine, Russian officials told CNN.
- Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, compared the rapid development of the vaccine to Russia which launched the first successful satellite in 1957, beating the United States.
- “It’s a Sputnik moment,” he said. “Americans were surprised to hear Sputnik’s beep. It’s the same with this vaccine. Russia will be the first to get there. “
- He also said scientists were not rushing to be the first, but focused on protecting people in Russia, as cases continued to climb.
- As of July 29, Russia had the fourth highest number of cases in the world, with 822,060 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13,483 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Russia is working to prepare the world’s first coronavirus vaccine in the next fifteen weeks, but there is still a lot to be learned about it, and doubts about its effectiveness, according to a new report.
A COVID-19 vaccine, created by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, aims to be approved for public use by August 10 and then given to frontline medical workers, while simultaneously going through a third phase of testing, Russian officials told CNN.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which funded vaccine research, compared it to Russia which beat the United States to launch the first successful satellite in 1957.
“It’s a Sputnik moment,” he said.
Adding: “The Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik’s beep. It’s the same with this vaccine. Russia will get there first. ”
CNN reported that critics said Russia was moving forward with its vaccine because scientists were under pressure from the Kremlin, which wanted Russia to be seen as a scientific leader. No data have been published and the safety and efficacy of the vaccine are unknown.
Dmitriev said scientists were not rushing to be the first, but focused on protecting people in Russia, as cases of COVID-19 continued to rise.
As of July 29, Russia had the fourth highest number of cases in the world, with 822,060 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13,483 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Worldwide, more than 100 potential vaccines are in development, and at least four of them are in their final human trials, three of them in China and one in Britain, a reported Reuters.
The Gamaleya Institute’s vaccine was developed quickly, according to Russian scientists, because it is based on a modified vaccine that has been used for different diseases, which is not unusual.
Some of the other vaccines being worked on around the world are currently in their third phase of testing, but the Russian vaccine is still in its second phase, which is expected to be completed by August 3.
The third phase of the test will take place at the same time as the medical staff are being vaccinated. This will require an additional injection, unlike many vaccines, according to CNN.
Russia’s health ministry had not confirmed August 10 as its expected date, but the Moscow Times reported earlier this week that the government planned to administer its vaccine to healthcare workers before clinical trials were completed, in August.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said 800 people will take part in the third stage of the trials, and at the same time scale-up and production will begin, resulting in “large-scale production and large-scale application, ”he said.
Russian officials said data on the vaccine would be available for review and publication early next month.