Russia becomes first to develop Coronavirus vaccine; announces Putin
‘It’s official. President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia has become the first in the world to develop a vaccine against Coronavirus. It has named this vaccine as “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite, according to the head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, news agency AFP has reported.
Sputnik V, incidentally, is a recall to the arms race which developed between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War in the second half of the 20th century.
Putin has confirmed that one of his daughters has already been inoculated. He also revealed that his daughter had developed a slight fever after receiving the vaccine but then recovered and now has healthy antibody titers are high.
“In this sense, she took part in the experiment. After the first vaccination, she had a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, while the following day it was slightly over 37 degrees Celsius, that’s it. After the second injection, the second vaccination, her temperature also rose a little, and then everything cleared up, she feels good and the [antibody] titers are high”, Putin was quoted as saying by news agency Sputnik.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which finances the vaccine project, said the phase 3 trials of the vaccine would commence on Wednesday. Dmitriev also informed that industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses.
That phase 3 trials are still to go underway has made experts question Russia’s haste and whether this is all done to steal a march on world, a publicity blitz, rather than adhering to the golden practices of introducing a vaccine on humans.
According to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, the vaccine will be produced at two sites - the Gamaleya Research Institute and the company Binnopharm.
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