The first-ever vaccine against the coronavirus got approval from the authorities concerned in Russia on Tuesday.
Although the step was welcomed across the globe, a quarter of scientists in Russia and other countries expressed skepticism over its effectiveness and safety.
They said making the vaccine available in a hasty manner can result in a backfire.
Some scientists expressed the fear as the vaccine is yet to complete phase- 3 trial. Besides, the vaccine was studied in only dozens of people for less than two months.
While announcing the approval, President Vladimir Putin said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated.
He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus. “I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity.”
But no proof to back up the claim of its safety or effectiveness has been provided.
“We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world,” Putin added.
Meanwhile, the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations of Russia criticised the step, saying the fast-tracked approval will not make Russia the leader in the (vaccine) race.
“It will just expose consumers of the vaccine to unnecessary danger,” it said, urging government officials to postpone clearing the vaccine without completed advanced trials.
The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow uses a different virus -- the common cold-causing adenovirus -- that’s been modified to carry genes for the “spike” protein that coats the coronavirus, as a way to prime the body to recognize if a real COVID-19 infection comes along.