Moscow (CNN)Russia intends to be the first in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, in less than two weeks — despite concerns about its safety, effectiveness and over whether the country has cut essential corners in development, CNN has learned.
Russian officials told CNN they are working toward a date of August 10 or earlier for approval of the vaccine, which has been created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute.
It will be approved for public use, with frontline healthcare workers getting it first, they said.
“It’s a Sputnik moment,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is financing Russian vaccine research, referring to the successful 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union.
“Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik’s beeping. It’s the same with this vaccine. Russia will have got there first,” he added.
But Russia has released no scientific data on its vaccine testing and CNN is unable to verify its claimed safety or effectiveness. Critics say the country’s push for a vaccine comes amid political pressure from the Kremlin, which is keen to portray Russia as a global scientific force.
There are also wide concerns the human testing of the vaccine is incomplete.
Dozens of vaccine trials are underway around the world and a small number are in large-scale efficacy trials, but most developers have cautioned that much work remains before their vaccines can be approved.
The best of the Muslim Times’ collection for war against Covid 19:
In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.
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The Muslim Times has the best collections in the war against Covid 19 as we are collecting from all the established sources
For the number of cases and epidemiology in each country go to: WorldOMeters
DAILY NEW CASES AND DEATHS IN US, CDC SITE