Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow had developed the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine was registered under the name Sputnik V in reference to the moment when the soviet union beat the US in the space race by launching the first satellite in the world. According to Putin, his daughter was one of those vaccinated.
The Russian Ministry of Health approved the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered in Russia,” Putin said in a television video conference with government ministers.
Putin added that the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow has proven effective in testing and promises to provide “permanent immunity” against the coronavirus.
“I would like to remind you that it has passed all the necessary tests,” said Putin. “The most important thing is to ensure that the vaccine is completely safe and effective.”
Putin’s daughter among the vaccinated
The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters had already been vaccinated and was feeling well. “One of my daughters has been vaccinated, so she took part in the tests in this sense,” said Putin.
After the first vaccination, his daughter had a slight fever of 38 degrees Celsius. The next day, her temperature dropped slightly above normal.
“After the second shot, she had a slight fever again and then everything went well. She feels well and has a high level of antibodies,” Putin said.
He did not specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, had received the vaccine.
Years of work reduced to a few weeks
Russia is the first country to register a vaccine against COVID-19 in the world. As countries around the world rush to produce the first vaccine, health experts warn that speed and national pride can compromise safety.
Scientists in Russia and abroad have questioned Moscow’s decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials, which typically take months and involve thousands of people.
Testing and large-scale production of vaccines usually take several years, but Putin stressed that the vaccine has passed the necessary tests and that vaccination is voluntary.
Russian officials said mass production of the vaccine would begin in September and mass vaccination could begin as early as October.