Russia develops COVID-19 vaccine, to be reviewed by WHO

RUSSIA President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that his country has recorded a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus presently ravaging the world.

Time newspapers reported Putin to have said that the vaccine went through the necessary tests and it is safe for the treatment of the coronavirus.

“I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests. The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency,” Putin said.

He added that one of his daughters has already been inoculated with the vaccine.

Putin said that his daughter, who had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, had  it dropped to just over 37 degrees (98.6 Fahrenheit) on the following day.

After the second shot she again had a slight increase in temperature, but then it was all over.

“She has taken part in the experiment. She’s feeling well and has high number of antibodies,” he said.

Corroborating the statement of the president, Deputy Prime Minister, Tatyana Golikova, said that doctors, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated as early as this month.

Russia’s Health Ministry has also said on Tuesday in a statement that the vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years, while large-scale production of the vaccine will start in September this year, and mass vaccination may begin as early as October.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO), has said it is in talks with Russia to review the vaccine.

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 Tarik Jasarevic, the spokesperson for the WHO, told newsmen on Tuesday in Geneva that any COVID-19 vaccine would require a rigorous safety data review before it gives its approval for use.

“We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine.

“Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data,” he said.

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