Inside Story

Will the Russian COVID-19 vaccine work?

Russia has approved the first vaccine against COVID-19 but many governments are sceptical.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a global race to find a vaccine.

Scientists, however, are worried some countries may be rushing the process and compromising safety.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has approved the world’s first coronavirus vaccine.

Putin said it showed what he called “sustainable immunity” against the new coronavirus, adding that his own daughter was inoculated.

But scientists in Russia and abroad are sceptical about the vaccine’s effectiveness. They said offering it to the public before the important final stage of testing could pose serious problems.

So, were Russian scientists pressured to cut corners? And was there any significance to the timing of the announcement?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Maria Lipman – Senior associate at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian studies at George Washington University

Derek Gatherer – Virologist at Lancaster University

Konstantin Severinov – Professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and head of Laboratory at Waksman Institute for Microbiology at Rutgers University