The Iranian Health Ministry, on Wednesday, urged caution over the new Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik-V, which has drawn international criticism for not completing phase three clinical trials.
“Before all clinical trials are completed, the use of vaccines is like a Pandora’s Box and, therefore, potentially dangerous,’’ spokesperson, Kianush Jahanpur, tweeted.
In Greek mythology, the box opened by the curious Pandora contained all the evils in the world, including sickness.
Jahanpur added that countries should remember that the goal of a vaccine must be the safety and health of the population.
Like many countries, Tehran has said it is also working on a vaccine.
Iran has been hit hard by the pandemic, with more than 330,000 infections and 18,800 fatalities.
Moscow’s announcement, on Tuesday, that it was the first country in the world to register a vaccine drew scepticism over the speed of its regulatory approval and because Russia had not shared data from large-scale clinical trials.
ALLEGATIONS COVID-19 VACCINE IS UNSAFE ARE GROUNDLESS
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on Wednesday said allegations that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine was unsafe were groundless and driven by competition, the Interfax news agency reported.
On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.
Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts.
Only about 10 per cent of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.
HEALTH MINISTER TO GET VACCINATED
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on Wednesday announced his plans to get inoculated with the Russian vaccine against COVID-19 later in the month.
“As soon as the vaccine is released … in August,” Murashko told reporters when asked whether he will be vaccinated.
On Tuesday, Russia announced registering the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, set to be produced industrially.
President Vladimir Putin has endorsed the vaccine, saying it has passed all necessary checks.
The Russian vaccine was developed jointly by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.
It has two separately injected components that together are expected to build sustainable immunity against the virus.
The vaccine has so far been tested on 76 volunteers separately at two institutions — the Moscow-based Sechenov University and the Burdenko Main Military Clinical Hospital.
Russian officials estimated the production capacity at 500 million doses in the next 12 months, including at facilities abroad.