Russia has approved a second Covid-19 vaccine. A delighted President Vladimir Putin announced this on Wednesday at a government meeting.
Putin congratulated scientists on approving the new jab, developed by the Vector Institute in Siberia. First-stage human trials were completed last month.
“We now need to increase the production of the first and second vaccines,” Putin said in comments on state television. “We will continue to work with our foreign partners and will promote our vaccine abroad.”
Russia became the first country to grant regulatory approval for a Covid-19 vaccine in August. The country did this before large-scale testing was completed, much to the concern of some in the global scientific community.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 400 patients at risk have received that injection. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V in tribute to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union, is not yet widely circulated.
Since the start of the pandemic, Russia has registered more than 1.34 million infections, the fourth largest in the world, after the United States, India and Brazil.