Russia Claims Medics to get Anti-Coronavirus Shots in 2 Weeks, Dismisses Safety Concerns

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 20.1 million people worldwide

Russia mentioned on Wednesday that the first batch of the coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for some medics within two weeks and rejected the safety concerns terming them as groundless safety concerns aired by some researchers over Moscow's rapid approval of the drug.

The President Vladimir Putin stated on Tuesday that Russia had become the first nation to grant regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine, after less than two months of the human testing.

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The vaccine has not yet completed its final trials. Only about 10 percent of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety. "It seems our foreign colleagues are sensing the specific competitive advantages of the Russian drug and are trying to express opinions that in our opinion are completely groundless," Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday.

He said the vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute would be administered to people, including doctors, on a voluntary basis, and would be ready soon. "The first packages of the medical vaccine against the coronavirus infection will be received within the next two weeks, primarily for doctors," he said.

Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute, said clinical trials would be published once they have been assessed by Russia's own experts. He said Russia plans to be able to produce 5 million doses a month by December-January. Kazakhstan plans to send government officials to Moscow later this month to discuss possible deliveries of the vaccine, its presidential office said.

(With agency inputs)

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