International: Russia claimed to have developed the first vaccine. The vaccine offers “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus. President Vladimir Putin announced the statement on Tuesday.
Moscow has dubbed its new coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite. The head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund said.
Putin televised a video conference with government ministers. During the video conference, Putin announced, “This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered.”
He also added, “One of my daughters had this vaccine. I think in this sense she took part in the experiment.”
Speaking at the government meeting on Tuesday Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests. It will offer a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) stated Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday. The RDIF financed the vaccine project. Industrial production is expected from September. More than 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses. Further, the president has asked Health Minister Mikhail Murashko to keep him informed about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mikhail Murashko added that the first Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will begin to be produced at two sites. The sites are The Gamaleya Research Institute and The Binnopharm company.
Putin also thanked everyone who worked on the vaccine’s development. He described it as a very important step for the world. In addition, the president hopes that the country’s research body will soon start mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month the country hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year. However, the vaccine’s registration is conditional. Trials will continue while the production gets moving.
Meanwhile, the WHO and Russian Health Authorities are discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.