World's First Covid-19 Vaccine: Russia Says 20 countries have Pre-ordered a Billion Doses

As Russia today registered its first Covid-19 vaccine under the name "Sputnik V" after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space, Russian officials said it provided safe, stable immunity for the vaccine. Putin had told a televised video conference call with government ministers, "This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered, according to reports. Russia's first coronavirus vaccine is developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry. The announcement came in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide, thus, crippling the world's economy. Moreover, the chief of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which is financing and helping to coordinate the vaccine efforts, told reporters that Phase 3 trials on a large group of people would start on Wednesday.


Kirill Dmitriyev, who heads the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had made "preliminary applications for over one billion doses" of the vaccine, according to reports. He said that along with foreign partners Russia was ready to manufacture 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries. Dmitriyev denounced "coordinated and carefully orchestrated media attacks" designed to "discredit" Russia's vaccine, as reports suggested. Administering the safety of the vaccine, Putin said one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the Russian defense ministry and other government bodies. Moreover, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the vaccine’s registration is conditional and trials will continue while the production gets underway, said Murashko.


Murashko also added that the first Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will begin to be produced at two sites - the Gamaleya Research Institute and the company Binnopharm. "The two-stage injection plan helps form lasting immunity. The experience with vector vaccines and two-stage scheme shows that immunity lasts for up to two years", the Health Ministry said, as reported by Sputnik News. Currently, WHO and Russian health authorities are discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said today. More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data. Companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results.





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