Speaking at a government meeting on Tuesday, Putin said the vaccine had been properly tested and was safe.
“I know it has been shown to be effective and forms stable immunity, and I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” he said. “We must be grateful to those who took this very important first step for our country and the whole world. ”
The Russian leader added that one of his two adult daughters had received two injections of the vaccine. “She took part in the experiment,” Putin said.
Putin said his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then dropped to just over 37 degrees (98.6 Fahrenheit) the next day. After the second stroke, she again had a slight rise in temperature, but it was over.
“She feels good and has a high number of antibodies,” Poutin added. He did not specify which of his two daughters – Maria or Katerina – had received the vaccine.
The Department of Health said in a statement on Tuesday that the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against the coronavirus for a period of up to two years.
Putin stressed that the vaccination will be voluntary,
Russian authorities have said medical staff, teachers and other at-risk groups will be the first to be vaccinated. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said doctors’ vaccination could start as early as this month.
Professor Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that developed the vaccine, said vaccination will begin while phase 3 trials continue. He said that initially there will only be enough doses for vaccination in 10 to 15 of the 85 regions of Russia, according to the Interfax news agency.
Russian officials have said large-scale production of the vaccine will begin in September and mass vaccination could begin as early as October.
Russia has recorded 897,599 cases of the coronavirus, including 15,131 deaths.
When the pandemic hit Russia, Putin ordered state officials to shorten the length of clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines.
Becoming the first country in the world to develop a vaccine was a matter of national prestige for the Kremlin, which is trying to assert Russia’s image as a world power. State television stations and other media have praised the scientists working there and presented this work as the envy of other nations.
Gintsburg raised his eyebrows in May when he said he and other researchers had tried the vaccine themselves.
Human studies began on June 17 with 76 volunteers. Half received an injection of a vaccine in liquid form and the other half of a vaccine in soluble powder form. Some in the first half of the year were recruited into the military, raising concerns that the military may have been pressured to participate.
As Russia rushes to become the first to create a vaccine, the United States, Britain and Canada accused Russia last month of using hackers to steal vaccine research from laboratories Westerners.
When the trials were declared complete, questions arose about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Some experts scoffed at assurances from Russian authorities that the drug vaccine produced the desired immune response and caused no significant side effects, stressing that such claims had to be supported by published scientific data.
The World Health Organization said all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being deployed. Experts have warned that vaccines that are not properly tested can cause harm in many ways – from negative impact on health to creating a false sense of security or loss of confidence in vaccinations.