The World Health Organization (WHO) was cautious on Tuesday of the news that Russia released the world’s first vaccine against Covid-19 and noted that, like the rest of the drugs announced, it must follow the prequalification and review procedures set by the agency.
“Accelerating progress should not mean compromising security,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a press conference.
He added that the organization is in contact with the Russian authorities and other countries to analyze the progress of the various vaccine investigations.
The spokesperson stressed that the organization is encouraged “by the speed at which the vaccines are being developed” and hopes that some of them “will prove safe and efficient.”
The Russian vaccine, which was announced Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was not among the six that the WHO noted last week.
The Geneva-based body cited among those six three candidates for vaccines developed by Chinese laboratories, two from the United States (from the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna) and the British one developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
According to Putin, the Russian vaccine is “effective”, has passed all the necessary tests and allows achieving a “stable immunity” against the coronavirus.