Russian Health Ministry says catching Covid-19 is far more dangerous than any possible side effects from world's first vaccine

The risks posed by coronavirus are far more severe than any possible side effects of Russia’s new vaccine, according to the Ministry of Health in Moscow, which has rejected claims that the development process was rushed.

Sergey Glagolev, an adviser to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, explained that being vaccinated involves significantly lower risk than having contact with someone who has been infected with Covid-19. This ought to be taken into account, given the scale of the pandemic, he said.

“Using our digital capabilities, we can monitor the safety of the vaccine in real-time,” Glagolev said, noting that modern technology allows real-time tracking of those who have been immunized.

Russia’s rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine has been criticized by some Western countries and medical experts, who believe that the registration has been rushed and that clinical trials were not sufficient. In particular, concern has been raised by Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who “seriously doubts” that it is effective and safe.

Speaking at a briefing about the new vaccine – named “Sputnik V” – Health Minister Murashko claimed that foreign criticism of Russia’s scientific breakthrough is completed unfounded and caused by “competitive disadvantages from Russia’s product.”

“Sputnik V” was registered in Russia on August 11, after two out of three trial stages were completed. The vaccine will be available to the general public in January 2021, and is expected to provide immunity to Covid-19 for two years.

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