Russia begins producing its new coronavirus vaccine: Interfax citing health ministry

A scientist works inside a laboratory during the production and laboratory testing of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease in Moscow. (Reuters)

Russia has started manufacturing its new vaccine for COVID-19, the Interfax news agency reported on Saturday, citing the health ministry.

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Russia has said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. Some scientists said they fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.

President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage 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 sound science and safety.

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Last Update: Saturday, 15 August 2020 KSA 12:43 - GMT 09:43
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