Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism. President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated.
“As far as I know, a vaccine against the coronavirus infection has been registered this morning (in Russia) for the first time in the world,” the President told members of the government. “I thank everyone who worked on the vaccine – it’s a very important moment for the whole world.”
Putin insisted that vaccination in Russia should only be carried out on a voluntary basis, with nobody forced to accept immunization. He also revealed that one of his daughters has already been vaccinated.
“In this sense, she took part in the experiment. After the first vaccination, she had a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, while the following day it was slightly over 37 degrees Celsius, that’s it. After the second injection, the second vaccination, her temperature also rose a little, and then everything cleared up, she feels good and the [antibody] titers are high”, Putin stated.
“I know that it works rather effectively, forms a stable immunity, and, I repeat, it passed all the necessary inspections,” the President added.
“We will begin the stage-by-stage civilian use of the vaccine. First and foremost, we would like to offer vaccination to those who come into contact with infected persons at work. These are medical workers. And also those who are responsible for children’s health – teachers.”
Last week, the Health Minister had stated that initial clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the Gamelei Research Center in Moscow had been completed.
Eyebrows have been raised at the speed of the Russian development process, particularly in the West, where countries such as the US and Britain are working on their own solutions.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations has written a letter to Russian Health Minister Murashko warning that civilian immunization before clinical trials are complete could endanger people.
This report includes information from AP News, Sputnik News, and Russia Today.