KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 ― Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today the government will monitor Moscow’s progress closely following Russia’s announcement yesterday that it had granted regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine in less than two months of human testing.
“The Ministry of Health will definitely study the development first because there are many countries that have claimed to have found the vaccine,” the defence minister told a press conference held in Parliament here.
“But how effective are they? I believe the MOH will conduct its own study. It’s still too early to [decide],” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that his country had become the first to approve a vaccine for the novel coronavirus after less than two months of human testing, Reuters reported.
Putin had likened the move to its success in the Cold War-era space race. The vaccine will be called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union.
Experts, however, suggested Moscow was rushing through the approval since it has yet to complete its final trials, the newswire reported.
Only about 10 per cent of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.