COVID-19 Vaccine: Russia Produces First Batch of ‘Sputnik V’
Even though it has gotten approval for production, the Russian vaccine is yet to undergo Phase 3 trials.
In a race for a COVID-19 vaccine, Russia has reportedly produced the first batch of its new vaccine ‘Sputnik V’, the Interfax news agency quoted the health ministry as saying on Saturday, 15 August.
The news came mere hours after the Russian ministry announced the start of manufacturing, reported Reuters.
The speed of the regulatory approval has led some scientists to be skeptical that Russia may be not be following the adequate safety measures in a bid to be number one in the global vaccine race.
Russia, which is facing international scepticism due to its approach to developing the vaccine, is planning mass vaccination against COVID-19 in October, starting with healthcare workers in August, according to IANS.
Has the Vaccine Completed Testing?
Even though it has gotten approval for production, the Russian vaccine is yet to undergo Phase 3 trials, which involve testing on thousands of participants and following up on them to check how many of them get infected over a period of time.
Even though Putin claimed that the vaccine underwent the ‘necessary tests’ and was safe, the final stage of clinical trials to assess its safety and efficacy haven’t been completed, reported Reuters.
“I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity,” he said.
For a vaccine to get approved for use, it is usually tested on thousands of volunteers for its safety and efficacy - a step that span over months.
Phase 3 tests are considered important precursors for administering a vaccine to the masses, considering their large sample size and long-term implications for safety and efficiency. FIT had earlier explained the risks associated with skipping this stage here.
The candidate vaccine is named ‘Sputnik V’ after the Soviet satellite.
(With inputs from Retuers and IANS)
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