By Samuel Adegoke
Russia president Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday his government’s approval of a vaccine against COVID-19 which will be administered on citizens, beginning with workers, in coming weeks.
The move is seen as a needless rush to beat western nations’ pharmaceutical efforts at producing tested and trusted COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Financial Times (FT) of London.
By this announcement, Russia has become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a vaccine against Covid-19 as the country begins mass production in the next few weeks.
The move, the first time a Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for civilian use, comes after just two months of human trials.
According to FT, some experts believe that the country is rushing the vaccine through testing and trial procedures at breakneck speed in an attempt to beat western pharmaceutical companies. They also expressed doubt on Russia’s ability to develop a suitable vaccine at such a speed.
The United States government has already approved the vaccine jointly developed by a German firm and Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical company. The Donal Trump administration has already approved at least $1.8 billion for mass production of minimum of 600 million doses to be administered on Americans in the next few months.
Other countries are also at different stages of production and testing of vaccines being developed, signalling hope that the deadly virus will be conquered in 2021. They include Canada, United Kingdom, France and India.