Russia approves first COVID-19 vaccine, Putin says

August 11, 2020 - 5:08 PM
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin discusses the environmental situation in the town of Usolye-Sibirskoye in Irkutsk region during a video conference call with officials at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia July 30, 2020. (Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters)

MOSCOW — Russia‘s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

The move paves the way for mass inoculation even as the final stages 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 science and safety. —Reporting by Maxim Rodionov and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Alexander Marrow/Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Kevin Liffey