Beating out the US and China, Russia announced that it had approved the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. President Vladimir Putin went on Russian TV Tuesday to break the news. On TV, Putin said the vaccine works and enables “stable immunity.”
Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine
News of a COVID-19 vaccine inspires hope around the world. However, Gizmodo reports that the Russians didn’t share valuable information with the public, such as basic peer review. In rushing the drug, experts also said Russia skipped safety protocols.
Experts have also warned that Russia has not yet begun Phase 3 trials of its vaccine. ACTO executive director Svetlana Zavidova told Bloomberg that “clinical trials are written in blood.” No one should skip steps. ACTO stands for the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 11, 2020
Russia: Sputnik V and the COVID-19 Vaccine Race
In a nod to the Cold War space race, Russia had also named its vaccine “Sputnik V.” The name refers to the Soviet Union’s first orbital satellite, launched in 1957. According to the Washington Post, the name evokes Russia’s pride in beating China, the US, and Europe in creating a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sputnik V and Anti-Russia Conspiracy
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) funded the research. To defend Russia’s vaccine, the RDIF also said that an anti-Russia conspiracy is underway. They said the West rejected their offers to work together for a COVID-19 vaccine. Now, with the vaccine, the RDIF said it would share the good news about Sputnik V.
Russia also says that they expect mass production of Sputnik V to begin by September. Moreover, the RDIF also states that the demand for the vaccine has exceeded 1 billion doses. Putin has also said his daughter received the vaccine.