Putin claims Russia has developed first coronavirus vaccine
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that the country has become the first in the world to grant regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, according to multiple reports.
The Russian leader claimed that the vaccine underwent clinical testing and has proven to offer immunity from the coronavirus. However, the approval was granted by Russian health officials after just two months of human testing, Reuters noted.
Putin said at a government meeting broadcast on state television that the vaccine, which was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, is safe and has been administered to one of his adult daughters.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” Putin said, according to Reuters.
Putin said his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius — 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit — on the day of the first vaccine injection. He claimed her fever dropped to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit the following day, and that the second shot brought a slight increase in temperature, which later went away, The Associated Press reported.
Russia’s health ministry said Tuesday that the vaccine is expected to provide coronavirus immunity for up to two years, according to the AP. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said the inoculations could be available for doctors as soon as next month.
However, so-called phase three trials on the vaccine have not yet been completed. Those typically take months and involve thousands of human participants, Reuters reported. Putin’s announcement Tuesday sparked international skepticism, as the trials usually occur before a vaccine is granted regulatory approval by health officials.
Professor Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute, said in May that he and other researchers have tried the vaccine on themselves.
Over 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world as countries race to come up with the vaccine that could prevent COVID-19.
Russia has documented at least 890,799 cases of coronavirus and 14,973 deaths.