Russia announced on Saturday that it has produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine after President Vladimir Putin declared it had been first in the world to approve as a corona vaccine by a nation.
Putin’s declaration on Tuesday about the vaccine was faced with caution from scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO) said it still required a rigorous safety review.
“The first batch of the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute has been produced,” the health ministry of Russia stated in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.
Putin announced the vaccine was secure and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, though clinical trials were not yet complete and final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people only started this week.
Western scientists were skeptical, with some warning that moving too fast on a vaccine could be dangerous, but Russia condemned criticism as an attempt to undermine Moscow’s research.