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. Developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry, the vaccine has completed all three phases of human clinical trials successfully. Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. However, scientists at home and abroad have been sounding the alarm that the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials — which normally last for months and involve thousands of people — could backfire.
Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin emphasized that the vaccine has undergone proper testing and proven safe to use.
"I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” he said. “The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency." The Russian leader added that one of his two daughters has received two shots of the vaccine and is feeling well. "She has taken part in the experiment," Putin said.
Putin said that his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then it dropped to just over 37 degrees (98.6 Fahrenheit) on the following day. After the second shot she again had a slight increase in temperature, but then it was all over.
“She's feeling well and has high number of antibodies,” Putin added. He didn’t specify which of his two daughters — Maria or Katerina — received the vaccine.
Who will receive first shots of coronavirus vaccine
Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.
Putin made the claim during a government meeting where he described it as "a very important step for the world", the Sputniknews reported. "It works quite effectively" and "forms a stable immunity," he said.
Putin thanks to everyone involved in coronavirus vaccine development
Putin thanked everyone who worked on the first-ever vaccine against the coronavirus and hoped that Russia will be able to start mass production of this medication in the near future.
"I hope that our colleagues abroad will also move forward, and there will be quite a lot of products that can be used on the market, on the world market for medicines and vaccines," Putin was quoted as saying by the agency.
Where will Russia's coronavirus vaccine be produced
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko has said that the first Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will begin to be produced at two sites — the Gamaleya Research Institute and the company Binnopharm.
He said that a number of countries are already showing interest in the vaccine, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is investing in the production and promotion of the vaccine abroad.
(With inputs from AP, PTI)