Russia to register world’s first vaccine against COVID-19

Published August 10, 2020, 5:49 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippines may just be a few months away from heaving a sigh of relief as Russia prepares to officially register what could become the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

Russia is one of the few countries that expressed readiness to supply the Philippines with the COVID-19 vaccine once mass production in Moscow starts.

Russian authorities earlier announced that the vaccine developed at the Gameleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology will be officially registered on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, in preparation for the third and last stage which is the testing to ensure that the vaccine is safe.

After the final stage, Russian health officials are planning a nationwide mass vaccination program sometime in October giving priority to medical workers and the elderly.

On Friday, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev assured the Philippines that Moscow is ready to supply Manila and even invest in the local production of the vaccine.

Khovaev said after the completion of all the bureaucratic procedures by mid-August, Russia will be ready to prepare for launching what he described as an “effective and safe” COVID-19 vaccine.

Russian experts defended the manner they managed to research and approve a formula for the vaccine, citing their country’s head start over the last 20 years it has spent in developing skills and trying to understand how viruses transmit.

Aside from Russia, China also assured that it will prioritize the Philippines should the COVID-19 vaccine be made available for commercial use and distribution.