Russia Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine: Nearly nine months into the Covid-19 outbreak, Russia became the first country to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine for civilian use, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday, describing it as “a very important step for the world”. Putin’s daughter got a shot of the vaccine, Reuters reported.
However, the Gam-COVID-Vac Lyo vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the country’s defence ministry, has led to scepticism regarding its safety and effectiveness since it is being approved for civilian use even before clinical trials are completed.
Last week, the World Health Organisation cautioned Russia against rushing through with its vaccine while Anthony Fauci, a top US public health expert, expressed doubts over the shots being produced in China and Russia during testifying before a panel of US lawmakers.
Russia’s vaccine is based on the DNA of a SARS-CoV-2 type adenovirus, a common cold virus. The vaccine uses the weakened virus to deliver small parts of a pathogen and stimulate an immune response. Speaking to Sputnik News, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Centre, maintained that the coronavirus particles in the vaccine cannot harm the body as they cannot multiply.