By Thomas Grove
MOSCOW—Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said, marking a milestone in the global race to find a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, but raising safety concerns in the West over the country’s accelerated clinical evaluations. The pandemic has killed more than 700,000 people worldwide.
Russian officials have compared Tuesday’s registration of the vaccine with its health ministry to the Cold War-era space race, and Moscow hopes the landmark event will return some prestige to the country’s proud scientific legacy inherited from the Soviet Union.
Scientists at the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute have employed military testing, accelerated clinical evaluations and shortened test trial times in an attempt to be the first with the vaccine, which Russia hopes to use in a massive vaccination rollout at home and export abroad.