Russia registers the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, Putin says his daughter was given a shot

​Speaking at a government meeting on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.

Russia announces World's 'first' Covid-19 vaccine, Putin says daughter inoculated
MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the world's first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

The vaccine still has to complete final trials, raising concerns among some experts at the speed of its approval, but the Russian business conglomerate Sistema has said it expects to put it into mass production by the end of the year.

Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, a source told Reuters last month.


Regulatory approval paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population and authorities hope it will allow the economy, which has been battered by fallout from the virus, to return to full capacity.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, hailed the development as a historic "Sputnik moment", comparable to the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first satellite.

The vaccine will be marketed under the name 'Sputnik V' on foreign markets, he said. State media have trumpeted the news.
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But the speed at which Russia has moved, approving a vaccine before the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy are over, has worried some scientists, who fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.

Speaking at a govt meeting on state television, Putin dismissed those concerns, saying the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.

"I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," said Putin.

He said he hoped mass production would start soon.
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PHASE III TRIAL
The vaccine's approval by the health ministry comes before the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.

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Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine's effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.

The Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO), a trade body representing the world's top drugmakers in Russia this week urged the health ministry to postpone approval until that final trial had been successfully completed.

In a letter to the ministry, it said there were high risks associated with registering a drug before that happened.

"It is during this phase that the main evidence of a vaccine's efficacy is collected, as well as information on adverse reactions that could appear in certain groups of patients: people with weakened immunity, people with concomitant diseases and so forth," it said.

Some international experts have also questioned the speed at which Russia approved its vaccine.

"Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine," said Peter Kremsner from the University Hospital in Tuebingen, currently testing CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials.

"In that respect, I think it's reckless to do that (approve it) if lots of people haven't already been tested."

Duncan Matthews, a professor of intellectual property law at Queen Mary University of London, said news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine was to be welcomed, "but safety must be the priority".

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have fast-track approval procedures for emergency humanitarian use and we need to see evidence that Russia is adopting an equally prudent approach," Matthews said in an emailed comment.

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.
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Vladimir Putin announces Sputnik V, the world's first vaccine against the coronavirus
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According to a report by AFP, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to approve a vaccine offering "sustainable immunity" against the coronavirus and that one of his daughters has been inoculated.

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The announcement came after scientists in the West raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners after coming under pressure from authorities to deliver.

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He said one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry. "In this sense she took part in the experiment," Putin said, adding that she had a slight temperature after a second injection and "that's all". "What counts most is for us to be able to ensure the unconditional safety of the use of this vaccine and its efficiency in the future. I hope that this will be accomplished," Putin said.

He said one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry. "In this sense she took part in the ..
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The vaccine developed by Russia is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells. Gamaleya's vaccine is based on the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China's CanSino. The state-run Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and its director injected themselves with the prototype several months ago, with specialists criticising the move as an unorthodox and rushed way of starting human trials.

The vaccine developed by Russia is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells. Gamaleya's vaccine is based o..
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According to a report by Reuters, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' for foreign markets, a reference to the world's first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday.

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Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country's RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly-registered COVID-19 vaccine.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country's RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly-registered COVID-19 vaccine.
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