CNN has learned that Russian Federation intends to approve the world's first coronavirus vaccine in less than two weeks, despite concerns about its safety, effectiveness and that the country has cut essential corners in development.
Stoffels said prior tests of this type of vaccine in other diseases found that a second shot significantly increases protection.
A separate state research facility in Moscow, the Gamaleya Institute, completed early human trials of an adenovirus-based vaccine earlier this month and expects to enter large-scale trials in August.
Although other companies are already enrolling patients in Phase 3 trials, vaccine experts say society will need more than one successful vaccine to ensure everyone has the chance to be immunized against the virus that causes COVID-19. "The trials began under the supervision of physician Dr Ajit Pratap Singh and gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Sona Ghosh and the vaccine has been administered to 9 volunteers so far", Chief Administrative Officer of the hospital, Venketesh Chaturvedi said. Officials reported they are targeting August 10 or even earlier for the approval.
"The Ministry of Health in Russian Federation is following all necessary strict procedures".
The press service of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is coordinating and funding Russia's vaccine development efforts, declined to comment, but its head, Kirill Dmitriev, has denied that Russia's vaccine push is compromising safety. "No corners are being cut", Dmitriev said on Tuesday.
Following the study, a Phase 1/2a first-in-human clinical trial of the vaccine candidate has now commenced in healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium.
"Just as Sputnik was the result of very talented Russian scientists. our vaccine research is based on the work of great Russian scientists", he said.
Following allegations from UK, Canada and the United States that hackers backed by Russian Federation were trying to steal Covid-19 vaccine and treatment research, the head of Russia's wealth fund said the deal showed that Moscow has no need to steal anything. The allegations have been denied by Moscow.
The drug, if approved, would be the world's first coronavirus vaccine.
News about the planned approval of the vaccine comes as global confirmed cases of coronavirus hit 16,747,268.
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