Russia becomes the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.
On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the first coronavirus vaccine in the world had been registered in Russia. The vaccine has been registered after less than two months of human testing, and the final stage of clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine continue. Putin also said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and claimed that it had even been administered to one of his daughters and hopes to start mass production soon.
However, scientists in Russia and abroad have been sounding the alarm that the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials, which generally last for months and involve thousands of people, could backfire. Many scientists have raised questions about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness and said that Russian authorities' claims that the vaccine drug produced the desired immune response and published scientific data back no significant side effects.
The World Health Organisation has not approved the drug and has repeatedly said that all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being rolled out.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.