VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With experts skeptical about the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in Russia, we’re finding out it’ll be at least another 12 to 18 months before the world finds out if scientists are correct in their global timeline estimates.
There are currently 170 vaccines in the works world-wide, according to the world Health Organization.
Dozens of COVID-19 vaccines are in varying stages of human trials globally, with seven in the final stage of testing.WHO novel-coronavirus-landscape-covid-19-(2)
Scientists say progress on vaccine development has been faster than for any other pathogen in history. However, they note it’s a challenging one to test.
Testing starts with a pre-clinical phase, where vaccines are administered to animals. In Phase 1, only a small group is given the vaccine.
Jump ahead to Phase 2 — which Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has not undergone, despite its president greenlighting its use in the masses. In this third phase, thousands are included in testing and results are compared to control and placebo groups.
It’s a chance for scientists to observe how our unique genetic codes and bodies react to complex medicine, and it only follows rigorous testing in previous stages.
The WHO only lists seven trials in phase three, globally, with zero listed as approved, since Russia’s testing was not registered with the global agency.
On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin declared Russia’s vaccine ready for use, becoming the first country to do so.
Critics have said Moscow is cutting corners and making a political move to assert itself, however, Putin claimed the vaccine is good enough and that one of his daughters even received it.
It’s believed large-scale production of the Russian vaccine could begin as early as this fall, with the country’s minister of health adding a voluntary mass-vaccination campaign could move forward at the same time.