The World Health Organization (WHO) has reacted cautiously to Russia's announcement that it is preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19 this October.

WHO not sold on Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine

“Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news. But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference.”

DURBAN – Russia’s announcement that it is preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19, this October has not been received well by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The vaccine, which is jointly developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Main Military Clinical Burdenko Hospital is listed as being in Phase 1 by the WHO, only six vaccines have progressed as far as wider Phase 3 levels of testing.

Speaking during a UN press briefing, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told reporters at the United Nations in Geneva said any vaccine or medicine for this purpose should be, of course, going through all the various trials and tests before being licenced for roll-out.

“Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news. But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference,” said Lindmeier.

According to Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, the vaccination would be free of charge, and doctors and teachers would be the first to receive it.

“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.

Lindmeier also stated that there are general guidelines, regulations, and rules on how to deal with the safe development of vaccines.

“We have to be always careful when any such measures or highlights or reports come out.These should definitely be followed to make sure that we know what the vaccine or the treatment is working for and against who it can help and of course, also if it has any negative side effects or whether maybe the side effects are bigger than that they actually benefit from it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russia reported 5,159 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing its national tally to 861,423, the fourth largest in the world.

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