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Russia announces first COVID-19 vaccine, Putin’s daughter inoculated

Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced on August 11th, 2020. Moscow has dubbed its new coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite, the head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund said.

“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

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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.

The World Health Organization last week urged Russia to follow established guidelines and go “through all the stages” necessary to develop a safe vaccine.

The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilisation of funding and research to rush through a vaccine that can protect billions of people worldwide.

The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.  

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before science and safety.

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