Registration for the world’s first coronavirus vaccine: In what can be called the biggest development in the COVID-19 vaccine race, Russia is all set to become the first country, worldwide, to register a COVID-19 vaccine on August 12, 2020. The country’s Deputy Health Minister, Oleg Gridnev has confirmed that a vaccine against COVID-19 is all set to be registered. The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya center will be registered on August 12. At the moment, the last, third, stage is underway. The trials are extremely important. We have to understand that the vaccine must be safe. Medical professionals and senior citizens will be the first to get vaccinated,’ Gridnev told reporters at the opening of a cancer center building in the city of Ufa, reported.

However, the clinical trial data and other documents of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine are currently under expert review. The decision on registration will be made based on its results, according to the Russian health ministry. “The documents that are needed to register the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of the Health Ministry, including clinical trial data, are under expert review. The decision on registration will be made based on the results of the review,” the ministry said.

In April, Russia President Vladimir Putin ordered state officials to shorten the time of clinical trials for a variety of drugs, including potential coronavirus vaccines. Clinical trials of the vaccine began on June 17 among 76 volunteers. Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder, according to the news agency. Initial reports showed immunity in all participants, the Russian Defence Ministry said. “The results of the check-up clearly demonstrate an unmistakable immune response attained through the vaccination. No side effects or issues with the body of the volunteers were found”, the ministry said, according to Sputnik News.

“We are very much counting on starting mass production in September,” Industry Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview published by state news agency TASS. World Health Organization on Tuesday urged Russia to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs.

Also, Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease specialist, questioned the fast-track approach last week. “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing a vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing I think is problematic at best,” he said.

The vaccine has been developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and Russian Defence Ministry. Another report last week had stated that Russia is also planning to begin mass production of a coronavirus vaccine from next month.  Reports of the country approving the first vaccine for public-use by mid-August had also come to light previously. Till now, no vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved for public use. According to the WHO, six vaccines are under phase 3 trials. Meanwhile, c cases globally stand at more than 19 million, with more than 7 lakh deaths that have occurred so far due to the viral disease.