On state television on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his daughter has already been inoculated, CBS News reports. He also highlighted the vaccine’s efficiency during testing and how it allows for immunity from COVID-19.
“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” he said. He added that his daughter who took the vaccine is feeling well. “In this sense, she took part in the experiment,” he said. He is looking to mass-produce the vaccine soon, first inoculating medical workers, teachers, and other at-risk groups.
However, many are skeptical of the vaccine, largely because it was approved before Phase 3 trials could take place, which typically take months to complete and involve thousands of people. Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute developed the vaccine after less than two months of human testing.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Direct Investment Fund involved in the development, has advocated for the vaccine, claiming that its development has been based on years of research on Ebola and MERS vaccines. Yet, American, Canadian, and British governments have alleged that Russian state hackers have attempted to steal vaccine research, highlighting Russia’s determination to win the race for the vaccine. Russian officials have denied that any intellectual property has been stolen to get ahead.
“No corners have been cut,” Dmitriev told reporters on Tuesday. “Russian science is more advanced in this [area] than many other nations.” Dmitriev said he and his family members participated in the trials and were inoculated, and they haven’t experienced any serious side effects.
He revealed that Phase 3 trials would begin on Wednesday, with industrial output anticipated to start in September. So far, 20 nations have pre-ordered over 1 billion doses of the vaccine. The FDA has said that a COVID-19 vaccine would need to be 50 percent more effective than a placebo in order to be approved in the U.S.