Russia Is First Country To Approve Covid-19 Vaccine
Russia has become the first country to give regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine, after two months of human trials.
The announcement, made by President Vladimir Putin, means that mass inoculation can take place in Russia, while the final stages of clinical trials continue.
Putin has said the vaccine, which was developed at Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, is 'safe, worked effectively and formed long-term immunity', the Independent reports.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting earlier today, Putin is reported as saying: "As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection was registered.
"I know that it works rather effectively, forms a stable immunity, and, I repeat, it passed all the necessary inspections."
He went on to say: "One of my daughters did the inoculation herself.
"After the first injection, her temperature went up to 38, but by the next day it was just a little over 37."
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has said the country plans to begin vaccinating medical staff this month, with a mass inoculation programme rolling out next year.
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According to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, a two-injection course would offer immunity for up to two years.
Overseas the vaccine will be branded as Sputnik V, after the Soviet-era satellite.
Authorities in Russia are now in discussions with the World Health Organisation about a possible prequalification for the vaccine.
WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told a UN briefing: "We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data."
Anthony Fauci, the man in charge of the US's coronavirus response effort, said last month he 'hoped' that other countries were properly testing their products before launching them.
He told a congressional hearing: "I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone.
"Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing is problematic in the very least."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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