President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that he approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute for use.
The move makes Russia the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, in which Moscow hailed as evidence of its scientific prowess.
“A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning,” Putin said in a live teleconference with his cabinet ministers, “I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity.”
“So we’re the first to have registered. I hope our foreign colleagues’ work will move as well, and a lot of products will appear on an international market that could be used,” the Russian President added.
While the vaccine is yet to complete final trials, the Russian business conglomerate Sistema expects to put it into mass production by the end of the year.
Putin also revealed that one of her daughters has taken the vaccine, had a slightly higher temperature following the injections and that she now feels better.
“I know this very well too, as one of my daughters has been inoculated with the vaccine,” Putin said.
“I think that this way she participated in the experiment. After the first injection her temperature was 38 [degrees Celsius], the next day 37-something and that’s it. After the second injection the temperature also got a bit higher but that’s it, then it went back down. Now she feels well.”
The health workers in Russia treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated in the coming weeks.
The regulatory approval means that the Russian population will undergo mass inoculation, in which the authorities hope it will allow the economy to return to full capacity.
The vaccine is to be marketed internationally under the name “Sputnik V.”