Russia says human trials of its Coronavirus vaccine have begun in the Middle East

Russia has announced that human trials of its controversial coronavirus vaccine have begun in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Russia says human trials of its Coronavirus vaccine have begun in the Middle East

The Kremlin said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken by phone with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi.


The Kremlin said in a statement that during the call, "the importance of joint efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus was noted, including discussions on the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, which is currently in the UAE." A medical examination is being conducted, "the Kremlin said in a statement. It added that the leaders "reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the Russian-UAE strategic partnership in various fields."


The United Arab Emirates is Russia's second foreign country to test the "Sputnik V" vaccine, Reuters reported on Monday. Additional trials are reportedly set to begin in Venezuela, another Russian ally.


However, Russia's vaccine is controversial and experts around the world question its effectiveness and safety.


The Moscow Times reported last week that Russia's Jamila Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the vaccine, has not yet shared additional research and data from initial clinical trials testing the vaccine. This is despite the fact that scientists have been cautious with the data released in The Lancet Medical Journal in September.


Russian officials say claims that the vaccine does not work are tantamount to an "information war" and reflect a Western bias against the country. The vaccine was formally approved’ in August, making Russia the first country in the world to reach this stage.


Russia has already announced on its a website dedicated to the vaccine that several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and "possibly India and Brazil", are participating in "post-registration clinical trials" of the vaccine. Will take Its mass production is expected to begin in September 2020, but it is uncertain whether it has begun.


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