Russia seeking WHO approval after claiming to develop COVID vaccine

Russia (SONNA)-The World Health Organisation and Russian health authorities are discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

“We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to clinical trials.

"But again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data."

Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Mr Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.

Mr Putin emphasised that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests. He added that one of his two daughters has received a shot of the vaccine and is feeling well.

Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.

Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine.

Many scientists in the country and abroad have been skeptical, however, questioning the decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people.

Source: The Age (Australia)

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