Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the country has registered the world's first Covid-19 vaccine. According to a report by the Tass news agency, Putin said that the vaccine was registered on Tuesday morning.
"As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world a vaccine against the novel Coronavirus infection was registered," Putin was quoted as saying as he opened a meeting with the state officials.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko earlier said that clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry were over.
On August 3, a "final medical examination" of participants in clinical trials of the vaccine took place at the Burdenko Main Military Clinical Hospital, the Russian Defence Ministry earlier said in a statement.
The results clearly showed that all volunteers had a clear immune response resulting from vaccination, the ministry said, adding that there were no side effects or abnormalities in the work of the volunteers. "Thus, the available data of laboratory and instrumental studies allow us to speak about the safety and good tolerance of the vaccine," the statement added.
Russia, which is facing international scepticism due to its approach to developing the vaccine, is planning mass vaccination against Covid-19 in October, earlier media reports said.
Vaccine administered to one of my daughters: Putin
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
"I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," said Putin. He said he hoped the country would soon start mass-producing the vaccine.
Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.
Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine's effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.