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HomeWorldRussia registers world’s first Covid vaccine, Putin’s daughter among first recipients

Russia registers world’s first Covid vaccine, Putin’s daughter among first recipients

The Covid vaccine is developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and medics could begin receiving it by the end of the month.

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Moscow: President Vladimir Putin said Russia cleared the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for use and hopes to begin mass inoculation soon, even before clinical testing has finished.

“The first registration has taken place,” Putin said Tuesday at a televised government meeting, adding that one of his daughters has already been given the vaccine. “I hope that we can soon begin mass production.”

The move clears the way for widespread use of the vaccine among Russia’s population, with production starting next month, although it may take until January to complete trials. Medical workers could begin receiving the drug by the end of the month, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at the meeting.

The announcement represents a propaganda coup for the Kremlin amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic and accusations that Russian hackers sought to steal international drug research. The disease has killed nearly 750,000 people, infected more than 20 million and crippled national economies. Companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results.

Sputnik comparison

Russia indicated how it regards the development, naming the vaccine Sputnik V in a nod to the Soviet Union’s achievement in launching the world’s first satellite into space in 1957.

Yet the speed with which the vaccine has received regulatory approval has drawn criticism, with a local association of multinational pharmaceutical companies calling the rushed registration dangerous.

“This is a political decision by Putin so he can claim that Russia was the first in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine,” said Svetlana Zavidova, executive director of Russia’s Association of Clinical Trials Organizations. “I can’t understand why Russia needs to build this Potemkin village.”

The vaccine is being developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which have said it is undergoing Phase 3 trials, the final stage of testing during which it is given to thousands of people to determine its fitness for use. A World Health Organization database lists the vaccine as still only in Phase 1 testing, the earliest stage.

RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev dismissed criticism that the developers haven’t published peer-reviewed results to date during a press conference Tuesday.

Also read: Malaria drug chloroquine, used for Covid treatment, linked to amnesia, delirium, depression

Test data

“Following Russian regulations, they can publish it easier after the registration,” Dmitriev said about data from the initial trials, adding that the results are “incredibly impressive” and will be published soon.

RDIF will be able to produce more than 500 million doses a year in five countries, with mass immunizations in Russia planned to begin in October, Dmitriev said.

RDIF plans to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, India and the Philippines, according to the Sputnik V website. Mass production is lined up in India, South Korea, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Cuba, it said, with at least 20 countries interested in obtaining supplies.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said last week that all vaccine candidates should adhere to established practices and finish clinical trials before being made widely available.

The Russian candidate is a viral vector vaccine based on a human adenovirus — a common cold virus — fused with the spike protein of SARS CoV-2 to stimulate an immune response and is similar to one developed by China’s CanSino Biologics.

The news comes as Russia reported daily Covid-19 cases dipped below 5,000 for the first time since April 23, with the number of infections continuing a slow decline from its May peak. The seven-day moving average has fallen for the last 31 days, with new cases less than half of the 11,656 reported on May 11.

Russia has nearly 900,000 people diagnosed with Covid-19, the fourth-most confirmed cases in the world. It had over 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the second quarter, according to Federal Statistics Service data published this week.- Bloomberg

Also read: Russia, China cut corners in vaccine race, fire and virus rage in Brazil & other Covid news


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  1. The Sputnik satellite in 1957, did set a cat amongst the pigeons- as they say. The Americans were second in the space for a decade till they had the first man land on the moon.
    With this as a background it is very likely or certain that Russia has a Vaccine that works, the angst among the the world bodies on health care is that how did these guys get it right first, and the great research and development pharma companies in the US and the other parts of the world The so called famous institutions like John Hopkins etc whose prediction about India has been yet wrong are now running sacred worried how much of a brand salience erosion might there be, due to wayward predictions and delay in getting the vaccine right.
    There is chance that Russia may fail, but they if any one know very well the kind of precipice they are standing on, and know they can ill afford a failure. They must have double and triple checked before making the announcement.

  2. NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE whether new corona ‘virus’ 19 is a bacteria or virus , airborne or water borne , animal to human or human to human transmission, its causes and symptoms . All this in the medical world in the realm of speculation. What is known for sure is that the immune system of the living being plays a significant role in the severity and fatality of any virus or bacteria that entes the body. Respiratory, pulmonary ailmests being no exception. To add a new dimension in this age of social media, twitter, face book whatsapp in cyber space with fake news almost the order of the day the greatest fear of an asymptomatic or symptomatic victim — is whether the existing HEALTH CARE SYSTEM and viz health personnel doctos nurses paramedical et al and also the beds verntilators oxygen supplies personal attentin would suffice to meet the growing numbers of 20 milion affected after over 750 000 dead as per the latest figure. Moreover the print and visual media has been front paging figures all taking political sides.
    Therefore with all this given world wide dimension alerting the over 65 yrs, symptomatic to stay home since November , December 2019 end would need a diversionary excercise over six months later …. lets football lets cricket lets hum music to rejuvenate the socio economic refoms for a post covid era ….. now

  3. Praiseworthy. Administering it to the President’s daughter is not a sign of privilege. It is meant to reassure ordinary citizens that the vaccine is safe.

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