Putin claims first coronavirus vaccine without providing evidence

Last week, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is financing the vaccine trials, told NBC News that the vaccine is a “copycat” of the Ebola vaccine developed five years ago by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and a tweaked version of an earlier vaccine against the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus.

Unlike similar vaccines, such as one being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Russia has moved ahead with approving its version before completing so-called phase three clinical trials, which are due to begin later this month.

In effect, Russia will be conducting its phase three trials live, treating it more as a demonstrator group than a control group meant to ensure there is nothing dangerous awaiting the larger population.

NBC Putin claims first coronavirus vaccine without providing evidence