President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that, after less than two months of human research, Russia was the first country in the world to give regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, a development Moscow hailed as proof of its scientific prowess. The vaccine still has to complete final trials, creating fears among some experts about the pace of its approval, but the Russian business group Sistema has said it plans to bring it into mass production by the end of the year.
Russian health staff treating Covid-19 patients should have the chance to be vaccinated willingly in the coming weeks, a source told Reuters last month. Regulatory approval paves the way for mass inoculation of the Russian population and authorities hope that it will enable the economy to return to full efficiency, which has been ravaged by the virus.
“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have fast-track approval procedures for emergency humanitarian use and we need to see evidence that Russia is adopting an equally prudent approach,” Matthews said in an emailed comment. There are more than 100 potential vaccines being developed worldwide to try to avoid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to WHO info, at least four human trials are in final phase III.