Russia: Putin claims world’s first COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use

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Russia has reportedly become the first country to develop the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. The news was reported by President Vladimir Putin, who’s daughter is reportedly among those inoculated.

Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute in Moscow developed the vaccine, which received approval from the country’s health ministry.

The country reportedly has planned mass vaccinations as early as October using shots that have yet to complete clinical trials. A move that scientists worldwide have warned could backfire. There has yet to be any published scientific evidence backing the vaccine claim.

“I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing a vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone, because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing … is problematic at best,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist, questioning the fast-track approach.

Last month, the U.S., Britain and Canada accused Moscow of using hackers to steal vaccine research from a variety of labs across the countries. Earlier this Spring, Putin ordered health officials to shorten clinical trials for potential COVID-19 vaccines.

A series of media reports have brought Russia’s official COVID-19 data into question, with World Health Organization officials saying it was “difficult to understand” the number of confirmed cases. As of Tuesday morning, Russian officials had reported 890,799 cases of the pandemic.

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