Russia Approves 1st COVID-19 Vaccine, But People Are Questioning It
In its latest move, Russia became the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, and the same was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Reuter said report says. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and subjected to two months of human testing before getting the green light.
It will be called “Sputnik,” which was also the name of Russia’s first orbital satellite, according to Kirill Dmitriev, who heads the Russian investment fund that provided financial assistance for the development of the vaccine.
Once the vaccine goes into mass production, it will be used to inoculate people, starting with the Russian population, followed by other parts of the world. Putin assured that the vaccine strengthens immunity, and it is even used to vaccinate one of his daughters.
“I know it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat it has passed all the necessary checks. “
However, Russia’s rapid approval has raised concerns around the world, as many fear that the rush to release a COVID-19 vaccine will bring something ineffective or poorly tested. Speaking of the fact that the Russian vaccine has yet to go through mass human trials (phase III), it will be tested on thousands of humans to study its effects in more detail.
As for the initial testing, the Gamaleya vaccine was given to a rather small subset of people, including the scientists who created it, 50 Russian servicemen, and a few volunteers.
In addition, the vaccine is still being considered in Phase I by the World Health Organization (WHO). While around 100 vaccines are in development around the world, according to WHO data, at least four of them are in final phase III trials in humans.
Its spokesperson Christian Lindmeier says that a vaccine has to undergo several trials before it is allowed to be deployed, and there is a big difference “between finding or having the slightest idea of having a vaccine that works and having gone through all the steps,” he added.