Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday officially unveiled the first COVID-19 vaccine, saying it is ready to be inoculated to coronavirus patient.
President Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent all the necessary tests and has proven effective and offered lasting immunity from the coronavirus, claiming one of his grown-up daughters had already been administered.
Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday, Putin said “I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests. The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency,” he said.
The Russian leader narrated how one of his two adult daughters received two shots of the vaccine.
Putin said that his daughter had a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) on the day of the first vaccine injection, and then it dropped to just over 37 degrees (98.6 Fahrenheit) on the following day.
After the second shot she again had a slight increase in temperature, but then it was all over. “She’s feeling well and has high number of antibodies,” Putin added.
Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers, and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that the vaccination of doctors could start as early as this month.
The Health Ministry said in Tuesday’s statement that the vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years.
Putin emphasized that vaccination will be voluntary, Russian officials have said that large-scale production of the vaccine will start in September, and mass vaccination may begin as early as October.
Prof. Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya institute that developed the vaccine, raised eyebrows in May when he said that he and other researchers tried the vaccine on themselves.
Human studies started June 17 among 76 volunteers.
Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder.
As the trials were declared completed, questions arose about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
Some experts scoffed at Russian authorities’ assurances that the vaccine drug produced the desired immune response and caused no significant side effects, pointing out that such claims need to be backed by published scientific data.