Russia readies its 2nd COVID vaccine; Approvals underway

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Russia is planning to approve a second COVID-19 vaccine late September or early October, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said.

Speaking at a government meeting on television, Golikova told President Vladimir Putin that early-stage clinical trials on the vaccine, developed by Siberia’s Vector Virology Institute, will be completed by late September.

She assured that no negative effects have been found in those who participated in the first and second stages of testing.

Russia became the first country to give regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month after a very short human testing period.

In homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the country, the approved vaccine is named ‘Sputnik-V’ It has been hailed as safe and successful by Russian authorities.

Russia says that it has received calls from around the world for up to a billion doses of the vaccine.

But experts remain skeptical about Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ approval and have issued warnings against its use before all internationally accepted testing and regulatory action were taken.

Shortly after the announcement of its vaccine, a top doctor in the Russian health ministry had resigned in protest of what he termed ‘gross violations’ in the process for developing the vaccine.

Meanwhile, if scientists can gather enough evidence, the COVID-19 vaccine being produced by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca may be placed before regulators this year, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said.

Reportedly, China has also secured a patent for its first COVID-19 vaccine.