Russia is set to become the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, with approval expected within the next two weeks.
According to a report from CNN, Russian Officials are hoping to get approval for the vaccine developed by the Moscow- based Gamaleya Institute on August 10 or even before that. Once it is approved frontline workers will be the first ones to receive it, followed by general public.
“It’s a Sputnik moment,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is funding Russian vaccine research. He was referring to the successful 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union, according to CNN.
“Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik’s beeping. It’s the same with this vaccine. Russia will have got there first,” he was quoted as saying.
However, the Russian government has not released scientific data pertaining to vaccine trials, hence the efficacy as well as safety of the vaccine is still under question. The developers are planning to launch the third phase, that Is human trials on August 3.
Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko stated that individuals who are higher risk such as the elderly will be prioritized for the vaccine. The minister told media that 800 people are going to be volunteers in the phase 3 trials.
Meanwhile, according to The Moscow Times, health officials are more cautious since the vaccine is incomplete and the third phase is yet to begin.