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12 Aug, 2020 13:26

Russian health minister says Western criticism of Covid-19 vaccine is down to commercial competition, as Israel express interest

Russian health minister says Western criticism of Covid-19 vaccine is down to commercial competition, as Israel express interest

Criticism from foreign officials and specialists about Russia's new Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is unmerited and motivated by commercial and scientific competition. That's according to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Murashko didn't pull any punches as he explained how Russia became the first country in the world to register a solution for Covid-19. “Some foreign colleagues, who must have felt certain competition and competitive disadvantages from Russia’s product, have been trying to express opinions that we find totally groundless,” he said, as reported by TASS.

Meanwhile, Israel is interested in holding talks with Russia to discuss purchasing the vaccine, its Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has revealed. “We have already arranged discussions about the research center in Russia [the Gamaleya Research Centre, in Moscow] and the development of a vaccine,” he told reporters. “If we are convinced that it is a genuine product then we will try to enter into negotiations.”

Edelstein also said that Israel “is carefully watching any news [about coronavirus vaccines].” At the same time, the minister said he doesn’t “want to delude anyone,” noting that there’s little use in hoping that “the vaccine will come tomorrow” since “there is yet to be a vaccine that passed all the necessary [trial] stages and received all the needed certifications.”

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had registered Sputnik V, the world's first Covid-19 vaccine. It was created at the Gamaleya Center in Moscow and underwent clinical tests in June and July. It is based on a previously created platform, already used for making a number of other vaccines. Putin also revealed that one of his daughters received the injection and is feeling well.

Also on rt.com Western countries fighting ‘info war’ to discredit Russian Covid-19 vaccine are ‘endangering lives of their citizens’ – developer

The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, has said Russia has already received requests from 20 countries for 1 billion doses of the product. He added that Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian countries are most interested to buy it, with a number of contracts already finalized.

To date, 902,701 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 710,298 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest official data indicates 15,260 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.

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