Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that his country had become the first in the world to grant regulatory approval for a Covid-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, adding that the vaccine has even been administered to one of his daughters.
The regulatory approval opens the way for the vaccine to be mass administered to the Russian population even as the final stage of clinical trials to test its safety and efficacy continue.
Russia’s rapid approval of the vaccine has raised concerns among experts who are worried that Russia may be putting national prestige ahead of sound science and safety, Reuters reported.
While making the announcement on state television in Russia, Putin said that the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute is safe and effective, adding that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
Putin said that he hoped that the country would soon start mass-producing the vaccine.
The Russian approval of the vaccine precedes the completion of its Phase-III trials where it will be tested for both safety and efficacy involving thousands of participants.