The World Health Organization (WHO) and the health authorities of Russia are currently discussing the process for a probable WHOprequalification for the newly approved coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesperson stated on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin mentioned on Tuesday that the European nation had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine after just below two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of the scientific prowess of the nation.

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"We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to clinical trials.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 20 million people worldwide and claiming the lives of over 736,000 people globally in more than 170 nations.

(With agency inputs)