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Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine not in advanced test stages: WHO

The World Health Organization WHO says the vaccine approved by Russia this week is not among the nine that it considers in the advanced stages of testing. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin announced an approved coronavirus vaccine in the country, claiming that the immunisation will protect people for up to two years, as published in the NewsMinute.

The vaccine has yet to complete advanced trials.

WHO and partners have included nine experimental COVID-19 vaccines within an investment mechanism it is encouraging countries to join, known as the Covax facility. The initiative allows countries to invest in several vaccines to obtain early access, while theoretically providing funding for developing countries.

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Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to WHO’s director-general, stated that they do not have sufficient information at this point to make a judgment on the Russia vaccine.

“We’re currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information to understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken and then what the next steps might be,” he said.

On Tuesday, Putin had announced that his country had developed the first COVID-19 vaccine, which he said worked “effectively” and “forms a stable immunity.” With the race for a vaccine underway across the country, the news took the world by surprise, though there were some doubts of its efficacy. He even noted that one of his daughters had been vaccinated.

The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry. Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said at the time that the vaccine could be produced at two sites he Gamaleya Research Institute and the company Binnopharm.

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