Russian Federation to begin COVID-19 vaccine production within 2 weeks

Getty Russia has registered more than 897,000 coronavirus cases

On 11 August, Russia announced the world's first vaccine for COVID-19, named "Sputnik V", in a bid to curb the pandemic that has now killed over 737,000 globally.

But experts were quick to raise concerns about the speed of Russia's work, and a growing list of countries have expressed scepticism.

Spain has added an average of nearly 5,000 new cases per day over the past week - more than France, Britain, Germany and Italy combined.

Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. He added that at this time it is not clear, "How efficacious the Russian vaccine is going to be".

"Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data", he said.

He said that the center is also preparing documents to obtain permission to test the vaccine on children.

"The problem is that we know very little about it as the Russian authorities are not being very transparent", he said.

"This is a new vaccine, it has not yet completed testing with even hundreds of people, not to mention several thousand participants in the study in phase III", the organisation wrote in an open letter to the Russian health ministry.

What has the reaction been?

On Wednesday, Health Minister, Mikhail Murashko reacted to allegations that "Sputnik V" was unsafe. More than 1.25 crore people have recovered.

"Based on everything we know. this has not been sufficiently tested", he added. "It's not about being first somehow - it's about having a safe vaccine".

The Russian decision to roll out the much-anticipated vaccine deserves applause rather than jeers in the Western press today, highlights Doctorow, who bemoans the fact that, much in the same vein, "no European Union member state country has sought to procure quantities of the proven Russian medicines for treating early COVID-19 infections Avifavir or the drug they have brought to market for late stages of the disease which are life threatening".

Scott Gottlieb, who is a former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner (FDA) warned people about trusting Kremlin's claims that it had created a viable vaccine, saying that "I wouldn't take it, certainly not outside of a clinical trial right now".

And in the USA, the country's top virus expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he doubted Russia's claims.

The World Health Organisation last week urged Russian Federation to follow established guidelines and go through necessary stages in developing a safe vaccine. It's raised the eyebrows of the world's health authorities and Australia's own body will need to take a long, hard look at the supposed solution to the world's woes.

But some countries have reacted more positively to Moscow's announcement.

Another factor is the huge competition between firms and countries to be the first to propose an efficient vaccine, Mettan points out: "As many Western countries, including the United States, have very badly managed the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be hard for them to admit that they have also failed to produce an appropriate vaccine!"

I hope that African leaders are not going to allow Russia's economic muscles to bully them in accepting this thing while it has not been approved and we die like flies in Africa. Duterte volunteered to "be the first they can experiment on".

"If we have to buy the vaccine, we have the budget".

Russian scientists said early-stage trials of the vaccine had been completed and the results were a success.

The Russian vaccine uses adapted strains of the adenovirus, a virus that usually causes the common cold, to trigger an immune response.

Global standards call for a Phase three trial, involving tens of thousands of people over several months.

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