đź”’ Russia claims Covid-19 vaccine milestone – Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp. founder and philanthropist, has been quoted as saying that he believes a vaccine against Covid-19 will likely be approved by the beginning of 2021, though that may be a “stop-gap” primarily available to wealthier nations. More effective vaccines, Gates said, may take longer to develop. We wonder what he makes of Russia’s announcement that it has registered a vaccine. The country has likened the registration to the Cold War-era space race, but it is unclear just yet if they have won the race. Russian President Vladimir Putin says one of his daughters has taken the vaccine. The world – and South Africa – will be watching with interest. – Renee Moodie

Russia registers world’s first Covid-19 vaccine despite safety concerns

By Thomas Grove

MOSCOW— Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said, marking a milestone in the fight against the novel coronavirus but amid rising safety concerns in the West over the country’s accelerated clinical evaluations.

Russian officials have compared Tuesday’s registration of the vaccine with the health ministry to the Cold War-era space race, and Moscow hopes the landmark event will return some prestige to the scientific legacy inherited from the Soviet Union.

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The conditions of the vaccine’s development, however, have raised concerns in Moscow and in the West over the safety of the vaccine and fears that the Kremlin is sacrificing the safety of its citizens.

Scientists at the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute have employed military testing, accelerated clinical evaluations and shortened test-trial times in an attempt to be first with a vaccine. Russia hopes to use it in a massive immunization rollout at home and export it abroad.

“We should be grateful to those who have taken this first step, which is very important for our country and the whole world,” Mr. Putin told a government meeting, a Kremlin transcript showed.

“I hope we can start a massive release of this vaccine soon,” he said, adding that one of his daughters had received the vaccine.

Write to Thomas Grove at [email protected]

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