WHO demands Russia follow vaccine production guidelines

Russia claims vaccine will be ready for mass production by next month, but World Health Organization urges caution.

Gary Willig ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization urged the Russian government to follow international guidelines on the production of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus after Moscow announced plans to begin mass production of a vaccine in September.

Russian officials claimed that the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has begun advanced trials on a coronavirus vaccine and that the treatment would soon receive official registration from the government.

"We are very much counting on starting mass production in September," Industry Minister Denis Manturov told state news agency TASS.

World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier urged caution on the rush to declare a vaccine ready for mass production.

"There are established practices and there are guidelines out," Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva following the Russian announcement. "Any vaccine ... for this purpose should be, of course, going through all the various trials and tests before being licensed for roll-out."

"Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news. But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference," he said.

Lindmeier further stated that the WHO has not received any notification from the Russian government about a vaccine being in the advanced stages of development or being ready for roll-out.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Murashko declared that the government intended to begin vaccinating the entire Russian population against the coronavirus in October.