Russia Registers First COVID-19 Vaccine
Russia has today become the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine. In July, the World Health Organization reported that there were 26 vaccine candidates in the clinical evaluation stage including the vaccine registered in Russia. The viral vector vaccine, which began phase 3 clinical testing last week, was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund and is expected to provide immunity against the coronavirus for up to two years.
Russia is reported to have the world’s fourth highest caseload with approximately 900,000 coronavirus infections. The Russian Health Ministry intends to offer the vaccine first to healthcare workers, teachers and other high risk groups. Mass production of the vaccine is set to begin in September with a mass vaccination drive planned for October. The decision to register the vaccine has caused some controversy in the pharmaceutical industry with industry bodies including the Association of Clinical Trials Organization (ACTO) questioning why Russia has not yet published clinical data that would prove the vaccine's efficacy.
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