İrem UZUN -TDO- President Vladimir Putin says Russia has become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing. However, the move was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people.
Mr. Putin announced the Health Ministry's approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus. However, scientists in Russia and other countries sounded an alarm, saying that rushing to offer the vaccine before final-stage testing could backfire. Besides, the World Health Organization has not received enough information on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to evaluate it, the assistant director of its regional branch, the Pan American Health Organization, Jarbas Barbosa has said. What's called a Phase 3 trial - which involves tens of thousands of people and can take months - is the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works.
While Russian officials have said large-scale production of the vaccine wasn't scheduled until September, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said vaccination of doctors could start as early as this month. Officials say they will be closely monitored after the injections. Mass vaccination may begin as early as October.