Russia's 'World's First' COVID Vaccine Was Tested on Putin's Own Daughter
Russian president claims his country has approved first coronavirus vaccine
Russsian President Vladimir Putin announced this week that Russia's health ministry has approved the world’s "first" COVID-19 vaccine, according to the country's state-run media.
The world’s first clinically approved vaccine against the coronavirus has reportedly been manufactured by the Gamaleya Research Institute in collaboration with the Russian Defence Ministry.
Putin reportedly claims that his daughter has already received the vaccination and hopes that Russia would soon start the mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He added that his daughter had a mild temperature after she was vaccinated but it quickly went away.
Putin revealed that the vaccine received the green signal after extensive trials.
Russia has become the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine, however, questions have been raised over the decision to register its vaccine before Phase 3 trials which last for months.
Putin said mass production of the vaccine will start soon after claiming that the vaccine has completed all the necessary tests.
Moscow named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine "Sputnik V" for foreign markets, a reference to the world's first satellite.
Russia's health ministry confirmed regulatory approval had been given after less than two months of human testing by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Mr. Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
The Russian president hailed the vaccine and said it "works rather effectively."
"As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection was registered," he said.
"I know that it works rather effectively, forms a stable immunity, and, I repeat, it passed all the necessary inspections."
The Russian leader said he hoped the country would soon start mass-producing the 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 vaccine.
The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.
The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product.
But it has also stirred concerns Russia may be putting national prestige before science and safety.
Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.
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.
Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety.
But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments' efforts to rapidly-produce such a vaccine.
Association of Clinical Trials Organizations Executive Director Svetlana Zavidova raised concerns.
He told Bloomberg: “Why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t?
"The rules for conducting clinical trials are written in blood. They can’t be violated.
"This is a Pandora’s Box and we don’t know what will happen to people injected with an unproven vaccine.”
Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine's approval, a source said previously.
It comes after Russia reported 4,945 new coronavirus cases and 130 deaths in the past 24 hours, with the official death toll rising to 15,131
This pushed its national case tally to 897,599, the fourth largest in the world.
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 the World Health Organization (WHO) data, including three developed in China and another in Britain.