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Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine: Does it work and is it safe?

Russia has become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, but there is concern about how effective and safe the vaccine is.

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday announced the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use after less than two months of testing on humans.

Mr Putin says one of his adult daughters has already been inoculated with the vaccine.

But international experts are concerned about the vaccine, which has not yet completed clinical trials.

Director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr Daniel Salmon, said there are “serious questions” about the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.

“Without large stage three trials we really don’t have a lot of information to know that the benefits of the vaccine will outweigh the risks,” he told Ross and Russel.

“That raises some serious questions about how well it works, how safe it is, and how effective it is.

“Even a small risk, when amplified across the population, could affect a lot of people.”

While he’s doubtful about the Russian vaccine, Dr Salmon is optimistic we will have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2021.

“I think it’s very likely,” he said.

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