Russia produces first batch of Covid-19 vaccine

Published August 15, 2020
Russia has said the vaccine, the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. — AFP/File
Russia has said the vaccine, the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. — AFP/File

Russia has produced the first batch of its new vaccine for Covid-19, the Interfax news agency quoted the health ministry as saying on Saturday, hours after the ministry reported the start of manufacturing.

Some scientists said they fear that with this fast regulatory approval, Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety amid the global race to develop a vaccine against the disease.

Russia has said the vaccine, the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month.

Its approval comes before trials that would normally involve thousands of participants, commonly known as Phase III. Such trials are usually considered essential precursors for a vaccine to secure regulatory approval.

The vaccine has been named “Sputnik V” in homage to the world's first satellite launched by the Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin has assured the public that it is safe, adding that one of his daughters had taken it as a volunteer and felt good afterwards.

Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, said previously that Russia would be producing about five million doses a month by December-January, Interfax said.

The head of the institute, Alexander Gintsburg, told the TASS state news agency on Saturday that volunteers taking part in the final stage testing of the vaccine's safety and efficacy would have two inoculations.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said this week that the vaccine would first be made available to medics and would later be available to all Russians on a voluntary basis.

With more than 917,000 confirmed infections, Russia's coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.

Currently, Russia has 92,000 people hospitalised with the virus and 2,900 in intensive care, according to the health ministry.

Opinion

Editorial

Punjab crisis
01 Dec, 2022

Punjab crisis

ADMINISTRATIVE chaos has ruled Punjab ever since the ouster of the PTI government in April, deepening the...
Quetta attack
01 Dec, 2022

Quetta attack

It would be foolishness of the highest order were the authorities to ignore the emerging threat.
World AIDS Day
01 Dec, 2022

World AIDS Day

AS countries mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1, a timely report from Unicef has renewed concerns about the severe...
A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...