Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced about the registered world’s first coronavirus vaccine amid widespread concerns about the rapidly developed vaccine’s safety.
The state-run Gamaleya research institute last week launched Phase III trials of the Covid-19 vaccine involving thousands of volunteers.
Russia’s Health Ministry has said it plans to begin mass production of the vaccine as soon as next month and launch a mass vaccination drive in October.
"This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered" in Russia, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers, as per news agency AFP.
Putin further thanked everyone who worked on the vaccine's development and described it as "a very important step for the world". He hopes the country's research body will soon start mass production of coronavirus vaccine.
"I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," he added.
The pandemic has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide and also damaging the world economy.
On Tuesday, Russia registered 4,945 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its national case tally to 897,599, the fourth largest in the world.