• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Russia unveils coronavirus vaccine, Putin’s daughter among first to take jab


Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that the country has become the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, with production and tens of thousands of inoculations to follow.

Russia is celebration as official claim victory in global race before final testing is complete.

The government has pledged to vaccinate millions of people, including teachers and front line health-care workers, with the experimental coronavirus vaccine beginning this month, raising global alarm that the country is jumping dangerously ahead of critical, large scale testing that is essential to determine if it is safe and effective.

Russian officials have said that a second vaccine from the state research center in Siberia, Vector, is not far behind.

“Of course, what counts most is for us to be able to ensure the unconditional safety of the use of this vaccine and its efficiency in the future.

“I hope that this will be accomplished,” Putin said at a meeting with government members Tuesday, adding that his own daughter had been inoculated with the Gamaleya vaccine.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the country’s vaccination effort, said that the vaccine will be named “Sputnik,” a reference to the first orbital satellite, which was launched by the Soviet Union and started the great Cold War space race.

The aggressive strategy from a country eager to declare a victory amid one of the worst outbreaks in the world has been criticized by outside scientists who worry that shots could be harmful or give people a false sense of security about their immunity.

China has already authorized one vaccine for use in its military, ahead of definitive data that it is safe and effective.