“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, Vladimir Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.
MOSCOW – Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism. President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated.
Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. However, scientists at home and abroad have been sounding the alarm that the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials – which normally last for months and involve thousands of people – could backfire.
Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has undergone proper testing and is safe.
“I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” he said. “The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency.”
The Russian leader added that one of his two adult daughters has received two shots of the vaccine. “She has taken part in the experiment,” Putin said.
Putin said that his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then 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’s feeling well and has high number of antibodies,” Putin added. He didn’t specify which of his two daughters – Maria or Katerina – received the vaccine.
Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.