Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a coronavirus vaccine claiming as the world’s first such vaccine. The registration of the vaccine lays ground for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.
The announcement came in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide, thus, crippling world economies.
Russia dubbed its newly launched vaccine against coronavirus “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite, the head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund said, as per reports.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project, said Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday, industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses, AFP reported.
Further, the president has asked Health Minister Mikhail Murashko to keep him informed about the Covid-19 vaccine, while at the same time noting that he knows “it works quite effectively” and “forms a stable immunity”, according to Russian news agencies.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers, as per news agency AFP.
Putin further thanked everyone who worked on the vaccine’s development and described it as “a very important step for the world”. He hopes the country’s research body will soon start mass production of coronavirus vaccine.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.
He emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests. He added that one of his two daughters has received a dose of the vaccine and is feeling well, according to Associated Press reports.
Putin said that 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.