August 12, 2020, 12.07 PM

GENEVA, KOMPAS.com – The World Health Organization stated that Russia's coronavirus vaccine must undergo a rigorous safety data review to receive its stamp of approval.

On Tuesday, Russia announced that it has registered a Covid-19 vaccine that is ready for use.

However, international skepticism has risen after Russia’s breakthrough news.

President Vladimir Putin shared that Russia's coronavirus vaccine offers “sustainable immunity” against the novel virus and that his country is the first to approve such a vaccine.

Baca juga: It’s Official! Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine Registered and Ready for Use

"We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine," the United Nations health agency's spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva at an online press briefing.

"Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data."

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the country's defence ministry.

A total of 165 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, according to the latest WHO overview produced on July 31.

Read also: China's Covid-19 Vaccine Brought to Indonesia for Phase 3 Clinical Trials

Of those, 139 are still in pre-clinical evaluation, while the other 26 are in the various phases of being tested on humans, of which six are the furthest ahead, having reached Phase 3 of clinical evaluation.

The Gamaleya candidate being produced in Russia, which is among the 26 being tested on humans, is listed as being in Phase 1.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project, said Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday, industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses.

Stamp of quality

"Every country has national regulatory agencies that approve the use of vaccines or medicines on its territory," Jasarevic explained.

"WHO has in place a process of pre-qualification for vaccines but also for medicines. Manufacturers ask to have the WHO pre-qualification because it is a sort of stamp of quality.

"To get this, there is a review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data that are gathered through the clinical trials. WHO will do this for any candidate vaccine."

Read also: Indonesia Aims to Export Covid-19 Vaccine Manufactured by State-Run Bio Farma

The pandemic has seen an unprecedented mobilization of funding and research to rush through a vaccine that can protect billions of people worldwide.

"We are encouraged by the speed by which several candidate vaccines have been developing and as we have been always saying, we hope some of these vaccines will prove to be safe and efficient," said Jasarevic.

"Accelerating progress does not mean compromising on safety," he said. 

(Writers & Editors: RJM/JG/BP, Agence France-Presse)

Source: http://u.afp.com/32Pn 

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