President Vladimir Putin claimed today that Russia had become the first country to approve a vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus and that one of his daughters has been inoculated.
Scientists in the West had raised concerns about the speed of development of Russian vaccines. They were apparently suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners after coming under pressure from authorities to deliver.
President Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that: “This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered. I know that it is quite effective, that it gives sustainable immunity”.
The President said one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine. “In this sense she took part in the experiment,” Putin said, adding that she had a slight temperature after a second injection and “that’s all”.
The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry.
“What counts most is for us to be able to ensure the unconditional safety of the use of this vaccine and its efficiency in the future. I hope that this will be accomplished”.
Health Minister, Mikhail Murashko said that clinical trials involving several thousand participants would continue.
Tatyana Golikova, a deputy prime minister in charge of health issues, said officials hoped that vaccinations of medical staff could begin soon.
She said: “We really hope that the vaccine can be produced in September, or even at the end of August or beginning of September, and the first category to be vaccinated will be medical personnel”