WHO: Russian vaccine not in advanced test stages

August 13, 2020
In this handout photo taken on Thursday, Aug 6, 2020, provided by Russian Direct Investment Fund, an employee works with a coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says the vaccine approved by Russia this week is not among the nine that it considers in the advanced stages of testing.

WHO and partners have included nine experimental COVID-19 vaccines within an investment mechanism it is encouraging countries to join, known as the Covax facility.

The initiative allows countries to invest in several vaccines to obtain early access, while theoretically providing funding for developing countries.

“We don’t have sufficient information at this point to make a judgment” on the Russia vaccine, said Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to WHO’s director-general.

“We’re currently in conversation with Russia to get additional information to understand the status of that product, the trials that have been undertaken and then what the next steps might be.”

This week, President Vladimir Putin announced Russia had approved a coronavirus vaccine that has yet to complete advanced trials in people and claimed, without evidence, the immunisation protects people for up to two years.

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