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19 Nov, 2020 10:20

Russia’s pioneering Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine sent to Geneva for approval from World Health Organization

Russia’s pioneering Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine sent to Geneva for approval from World Health Organization

The creators of Sputnik V, the world's first registered Covid-19 vaccine, have applied for official certification from the World Health Organization (WHO). The groundbreaking Russian vaccine is currently being evaluated in Geneva.

Speaking to radio station Echo of Moscow, the WHO's representative in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, explained that the vaccine is under examination by the preeminent international health agency.

"WHO has not yet spoken up and has not announced any vaccine because vaccines are undergoing a system of evaluation," she explained. "We know that the Sputnik V vaccine has been submitted for certification to Geneva, to the WHO headquarters."

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Vujnovic also gave a vote of confidence to the Russian pharmaceutical industry, confirming that she would take a Russian vaccine once it had passed international certification.

On Wednesday, she told the Rossiya-24 TV channel that a dialogue had been established between the creators of Sputnik V and the WHO, with the official noting she is "optimistic" about the global health agency deciding to recommend the vaccine.

On October 27, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) revealed that it had applied to the WHO for accelerated registration, allowing the vaccine to be approved quicker.

READ MORE: Russia applies to WHO for emergency listing of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, approval would speed up formula's global distribution

On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country had registered the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V. Developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, it is currently undergoing a third-stage clinical trial involving 40,000 volunteers. Exactly three months later, on November 11, the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced that Sputnik V is 92% effective, based on results from the first 16,000 trialists. In October, Putin announced that Russia had created a second vaccine called EpiVacCorona, produced by Siberia's Vector Center. Another vaccine, from Moscow's Chumakov Center, is also said to be in the pipeline.

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