Russia registers Coronavirus vaccine, as Putin’s daughter gets inoculated.
On Tuesday, despite international skepticism, Russia became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use.
President Vladimir Putin who announced this, said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated.
However, the vaccine is yet to undergo phase 3 trials which normally last for months and involve thousands of people and this has led scientists in Russia and abroad to sound the alarm that the rush to use the vaccine before phase 3 trials could backfire.
Putin while speaking at a government meeting on Tuesday, emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.
“I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” he said. “The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency.”
The Russian president added that one of his two daughters has received two shots of the vaccine and is feeling well. “She has taken part in the experiment,” Putin said.
According to the Russian leader, his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then it dropped to just over 37 degrees (98.6 Fahrenheit) on the following day. After the second shot she again had a slight increase in temperature, but then it was all over.
“She’s feeling well and has high number of antibodies,” Putin added. He didn’t specify which of his two daughters — Maria or Katerina — received the vaccine.
Though the president emphasized that the vaccination will be voluntary, Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.
Tatyana Golikova, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, said that the vaccination of doctors could start as early as this month.
The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Putin ordered state officials to shorten the time of clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines, when the pandemic struck Russia.
On June 17, human studies of the vaccine started among 76 volunteers. Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder. Some in the first half were recruited from the military, which raised concerns that servicemen may have been pressured to participate.
As the trials were declared completed, questions arose about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
As Russia registers coronavirus vaccine, some experts scoffed at Russian authorities’ assurances that the vaccine drug produced the desired immune response and caused no significant side effects, pointing out that such claims need to be backed by published scientific data.
According to the World Health Organization, all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being rolled out.
Large-scale production of the vaccine will start in September, and mass vaccination may begin in October, as Russia registers coronavirus vaccine as the first country to do so, Russian officials said.