Russia announces world’s first COVID-19 vaccine; Vladimir Putin’s daughter gets first shot

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday launched the country’s first coronavirus vaccine dubbed ‘Sputnik V’, touted as the first in the world too. Putin’s daughter received a shot of the vaccine. The country has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine early Tuesday, August 11, amid widespread concerns about the rapidly developed vaccine’s safety. Earlier, it was reported that Moscow would register its COVID-19 vaccine candidate on Wednesday, August 12.

Last week, the Health Ministry announced that it plans to begin mass production in September and launch a mass vaccination drive in October. The vaccine developed by the state-run Gamaleya research institute entered clinical studies on June 18 and moved into the phase 3 trials last week.

“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered,” Putin said in a televised cabinet session broadcast, reported The Moscow Times. “I know that it’s effective and forms sustainable immunity,” he said.

Putin thanked everyone who worked on the first-ever vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even as he called it as a ‘very important step for the world’. The president also confirmed that one of his daughters has already received the jab.

Earlier Tuesday, Nikolay Briko, the Russian Health Ministry’s chief epidemiologist, told Sputnik that there is no need to delay the registration of the Gamaleya Microbiology Research Centre’s COVID-19 vaccine as the technology used to make the jab was earlier practiced while making vaccines for other diseases such as Ebola and the Middle East respiratory syndrome. 

Meanwhile, a report from the Bloomberg stated that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Russia’s offer of its COVID-19 vaccine, volunteering to be the first person to get the shot. With almost 900,000 coronavirus infections, Russia is reported to have the world’s fourth-highest COVID-19 caseload.

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