Russia has become the first country in the world to approve COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.
The institute also launched phase three trials for its vaccine last week which will involve thousands of volunteers.
The country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine with President Vladimir Putin making the announcement on Tuesday.
Putin said “This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered.”
He made the announcement during a televised video conference call with government ministers.
With the latest move by the Russian government, the country can now prepare for mass vaccination in October.
But final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy are still ongoing, according to Russian officials.
The drug is a viral vector vaccine, which employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding the necessary immune response into cells.
Mass production of the vaccine is expected to start in September.
More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data, including three developed in China and another in Britain.
Critics of Russia say the speed at which it is moving to roll out its vaccine shows how determined it is to win the global race for a vaccine.
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