Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday his government has registered the world's first COVID vaccine. File Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Moscow has registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, and said one of his daughters was inoculated.
State-run TASS reported that Putin made the announcement at a meeting Tuesday with Russian state officials. The vaccine, labeled "Sputnik-V," forms stable cell and antibody immunity, he said.
"As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection was registered," the Kremlin leader said. "I know this very well because one of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in testing."
Putin said his daughter developed a fever after the first vaccine shot but it dissipated and her temperature returned to normal after a second shot.
"And then, after the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine, she is feeling well and has a high [antibody] count," Putin said.
Russian health minister Mikhail Murashko said his department has ended clinical trials of the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.
Murashko said medical workers and teachers will be the first to receive its COVID-19 vaccine.
"We will begin the stage-by-stage civilian use of the vaccine," Murashko said. "First and foremost, we would like to offer vaccination to those who come into contact with infected persons at work. These are medical workers. And also those who are responsible for children's health, teachers."
There are questions, however, about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness -- particularly considering it was developed in a diplomatically isolated nation like Russia. Also, the vaccine has not yet passed through stage-three clinical trials, a part of the testing phase that would administer the vaccine to humans.
CNN reported that Russian officials say a number of nations and U.S. companies have expressed interest in the vaccine.
Last week, Russian virologist Alexander Chepurnov, a former head of infectious diseases at Vektor, cautioned that he had concerns about a coronavirus vaccine.
"With some diseases, and for the coronavirus ... the infection can intensify with the presence of certain antibodies," he said. "So it should be known which antibodies the vaccine forms."
Chepurnov said the lack of available information and data about the vaccine's clinical trials is troublesome.
"Until I see studies and scientific publications that say how the vaccine was studied, what level of neutralization is formed, what doses of the virus it protects against and, most importantly, whether it is developing the ability to increase infection by antibodies, it is impossible to talk about the release of a vaccine."
Russia was accused last month of hacking U.S., Canadian and British researchers to steal vaccine date. The Kremlin denied involvement.