President Donald Trump has expressed the hope that the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine from Russia will work, but he says the US could have its own ready very soon, after a lengthier trial process.
Production of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine has already begun, and 500 million doses are expected to have been made within the next 12 months. The jab, dubbed ‘Sputnik V’, is supposed to offer protection from the coronavirus for up to two years.
Asked about the rapidly developed vaccine at a Friday press conference, Trump said he hoped the vaccine would be effective, but claimed the US may soon have good news to share, too, when it comes to a vaccine.
We don’t know much about it. We hope it works, we do, we hope it works.
He added that an American vaccine could be approved and distributed before the end of the year.
Trump now promises hundreds of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year or a little after. pic.twitter.com/HYW9C9ioIy
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 14, 2020
The president also claimed a US vaccine is taking longer only because America has instituted a longer trial process.
“They’ve [that is, the Russians] cut off certain trials, and we just feel it’s important to go through the process. We have numerous different vaccines that we think are going to work, but we want to go through a system of trials,” he said.
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As to who will first receive the vaccine, Trump insisted “elderly” citizens living in nursing homes or retirement communities will likely have early access. When it came to himself, he equivocated, saying he would either be “first or last” to receive it.
Despite having been registered, the Sputnik V vaccine will continue to undergo trials involving thousands of people in Russia and abroad. Some 20 countries have already queued up to get the promising jab or have offered cooperation in its production and distribution, and Moscow says hundreds of millions of doses could be produced globally each year.
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