President Putin said 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 testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.
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.
Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.
Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop COVID-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments’ efforts to rapidly produce such a vaccine.