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Russia Aims for COVID-19 Vaccine by Mid-August

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Tuesday, 28 July 2020 10:15 PM

Russia says it is set to begin administering the world's first coronavirus vaccine in mid-August, CNN reports, but there are fears the country might be pushing a little-tested and unsafe product.

That has not stopped Russian officials from heralding their claims, telling CNN they are aiming for Aug. 10 or earlier, and frontline workers will get the first doses.

"It's a Sputnik moment," Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which is providing the money for Russian vaccine research, told CNN. The launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 saw the Soviet Union beat the United States in the first leg of the space race.

"Americans were surprised when they heard Sputnik's beeping," Dmitriev said. "It's the same with this vaccine. Russia will have got there first."

That kind of talk is what has many concerned Russia is more concerned about beating the world to the punch than actually developing a vaccine that is safe and effective.

CNN notes Russia did not release any data to back up its testing nor its claims of effectiveness.

The rest of the world, including the United States, is fast-tracking its vaccines, yet taking a slower, more cautious approach.

Some vaccines trials are in their third phase, while Russia's has not completed its second, CNN noted. That phase is expected to be finished by Aug. 3, while the third phase is run in conjunction with the vaccination of medical workers.

Russian scientists explain they have moved quickly because their vaccine is built on an existing vaccine. That is the same approach being used in the United States, which is basing its vaccine on the MERS vaccine.

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Amid fears Russia might be pushing a little-tested and unsafe product, Russia says it is set to begin administering the world's first coronavirus vaccine in mid-August, CNN reported.
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Tuesday, 28 July 2020 10:15 PM
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