Russia has announced the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.
Russia’s President Vladmir Putin announced in a televised national address on Tuesday that”A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning,”
“I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity.”Putin added that one of his daughters had already taken it; he said she had a slightly higher temperature after each dose, but that: “Now she feels well.”
The vaccine – named Sputnik-V – was developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. It has yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.
Putin’s announcement in the global rush to make an effective vaccine against COVID-19 comes amid suggestions that Russia has cut essential corners in its development.
It is speculated that the country’s push for a vaccine is partly due to political pressure from the Kremlin, which is keen to portray Russia as a global scientific force.
Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and experts are unable to verify the vaccine’s claimed safety or effectiveness.
Despite this, Russian officials have stated that about 20 countries and certain US companies have expressed interest in the vaccine.