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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) online summit in Sochi (AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) online summit in Sochi (AFP)

Russia may register third Covid vaccine, all existing ones 'effective', says Putin

'The people who have been vaccinated and who have then had contact with people who have contracted the coronavirus have not contracted the coronavirus themselves, or they only have mild symptoms,' says Putin on the existing two vaccine available in the country, according to Russian news agencies

Russia is about to register its third vaccine against the novel coronavirus, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, according to Russian news agency.

Putin also said “all" Russian coronavirus vaccines were effective, Sputnik news agency reported. However, he apparently gave no further details on the third vaccine or its registration.

"We have two registered vaccines in Russia, and the trials have already confirmed that the vaccines are safe, there are no side effects, and they are efficient. A third vaccine is in the pipeline," he said in his address to the Council of the Heads of State of the SCO.

"They are effective, the people who have been vaccinated and who have then had contact with people who have contracted the coronavirus have not contracted the coronavirus themselves, or they only have mild symptoms," Sputnik News quoted Putin as saying.

Putin's comments came a day after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech announced that preliminary results from late-stage clinical trials showed their coronavirus vaccine was 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.

Addressing the virtual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, Putin said Russia supports the idea of giving countries in need access to drugs and necessary goods.

According to Putin, Russia has donated about half a million kits for coronavirus diagnostic laboratories as well as devices for non-contact temperature measurement to SCO nations. Russian medical teams have been sent to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, the president added.

In August, Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine against the coronavirus, dubbed Sputnik V, and it was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute. The vaccine is now nearing the end of phase three clinical trials.

However, there are some concerns over the Russian vaccine as experts are skeptic over Russia’s fast-paced approach to developing a vaccine. Scientists have raised concerns over the data in the study.

"We are ready for cooperation ... and we propose abstaining from politicisation, being guided by the fact that people across the planet need vaccines today. We are ready to work with any country in the world," Putin stressed.

In terms of the second Covid-19 vaccine, Putin in October had announced that the country registered the second Covid vaccine. "The Novosibirsk Vektor centre today registered the second Russian vaccine against coronavirus -- EpiVacCorona," Putin said during a video conference with cabinet members, reportted Russian news agency Sputnik.

The president noted that Russia chaired the SCO at a time when its member states were facing the coronavirus pandemic, which brought about adjustments to the organisation's agenda, including enhanced interaction between the SCO's member states in the fields of healthcare and protecting the life and health of citizens.

"Today we are going to adopt a comprehensive plan of our organisation [the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation] on fighting the epidemic, as well as a special statement on the topic of the coronavirus", Putin said.

Meanwhile, Russia has reported 1,817,109 coronavirus cases so far with 31,161 deaths.

With inputs from agencies

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