Russia has developed the first vaccine for coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, according to AFP. The president also said one of his daughters has been given a shot.
Putin said at a government meeting that the vaccine was found to be efficient during the testing period, providing immunity from the virus, AP reported. Doctors, teachers and others in the risk group would be among the first to be given a shot of the vaccine, Russian officials said.
Over 100 vaccines are being developed around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters. The World Health Organization data shows at least four vaccines are in Phase 3 trials, including those from China and Britain.
The Russian vaccine was developed at the Gamaleya Institute, a state research facility in Moscow, the country’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko had earlier said.
While the Russian president said that the vaccine has undergone the necessary trials, various scientists have raised questions on registering it before conducting the Phase 3 trials. The phase takes several months to complete and also requires thousands of people.
On Monday, the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations wrote to Murashko, telling him that less than 100 people have been vaccinated and that its widespread usage can prove to be dangerous, Bloomberg reported.
“Why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t?” the association’s Executive Director Svetlana Zavidova said. “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.”
WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier had also said that vaccines would have to clear all stages of testing before it can be registered.
Globally, coronavirus has infected more than 2 crore people, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide toll rose to 7,34,664. More than 1.21 crore people have recovered. Meanwhile, India has recorded 53,601 new cases, taking the overall tally to 22,68,675. The toll rose by 871 to 45,257. While there are 6,39,929 active cases, 15,83,489 people have recovered, according to the health ministry.