Russia has started manufacturing its new vaccine for COVID-19, the Interfax news agency reported on Saturday, citing the health ministry.
Russia has said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute and the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. Some scientists said they fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.
Ian Bremmer, a political scientist, and author shared an article on the doubts cast on Russia’s new Covid-19 vaccine.
Developed by the Gamaleya institute in Moscow, the vaccine has been approved by Russian health authorities without undergoing phase III clinical trials required to prove the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.
Although Russia has announced mass vaccination to begin in October, the effectiveness of the vaccine is yet to be known.
If the vaccine proves effective, it could provide several advantages to Russia. Firstly, the vaccine could enable Russia’s economy to recover faster than in other countries. The demand for the vaccine will also increase boosting the country’s global image while generating huge revenues. However, if the vaccine proves ineffective Russia’s image could be badly damaged.
In other news, Prof. Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins, shared an article on how Sweden adopted a laissez-faire approach to the pandemic and experience fewer deaths per capita and half the GDP decline of 8.6%.
The article noted that using a slightly variant approach adopted by Sweden instead of a complete lockdown could have helped with the UK’s economic recovery.
Hanke noted that the UK National Health Service is the most overrated health system in the world.