Policy & Regulation
Russia's head of COVID-19 vaccine research states he has administered the vaccine to himself and his family
12 August 2020 -

CNN reported on Wednesday that Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is funding the COVID-19 vaccine research approved in Russia, said the rollout of the drug "will be very gradual."

"We're not going to give it to 10 million people tomorrow," Dmitriev told CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr Sanjay Gupta, adding, "It's going to be a very gradual, careful rollout going forward."

The Sputnik-V vaccine has been developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, but has yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.

"We can say that it works," Dmitirev told Gupta. "I've taken it myself. I've given it to my parents, to my wife."

Reportedly, the announcement of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine has been met with worldwide skepticism.

The World Health Organisation said in a statement about the Russian vaccine that "accelerating vaccine research should be done following established processes through every step of development to ensure that any vaccines that eventually go into production are both safe and effective."

When asked how the vaccine has been proven effective, Dmitriev told CNN, "It's been proven through phase one, phase two trial. We will have phase three trials in many other countries, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Philippines."

"According to Russian law, when you have a pandemic, when you have epidemia like this, you can do phase three concurrently with launching to high-risk groups, which we are doing. We believe that's exactly the right approach, and this approach makes sense. And the rest of the world knowing some of the science behind our vaccine really likes what they see. We received one billion doses preorder already for the vaccine. I think time will tell the success of the Russian approach, " Dmitriev added.

According to CNN, Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine's claimed safety or effectiveness.

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