Geneva: The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged Russia to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs.
Russia said Monday it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine in September and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
Russia is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes. Officials claimed that one trialled by the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development and is about to pass state registration.
“We are very much counting on starting mass production in September,” Industry Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview published by state news agency TASS.
Asked about the developments in Russia, the WHO stressed that all vaccine candidates should go through the full stages of testing before being rolled out.
“There are established practices and there are guidelines out,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters at the United Nations in Geneva.
“Any vaccine…(or medicine) for this purpose should be, of course, going through all the various trials and tests before being licenced for roll-out,” he said.
“Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news.
“But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference.”