MOSCOW — Russia has registered a vaccine for the novel coronavirus and claims it is ready for use, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
According to The Associated Press, the news makes Russia the first country to register a vaccine for the virus, which has sickened at least 20 million people and killed more than 736,000 globally, Johns Hopkins University reported. Russia has reported more than 890,000 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths.
Putin said the vaccine "has passed all the necessary tests," although many scientists worldwide remain skeptical, according to the AP. Critics have said the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials could backfire, the news agency reported.
Officials said production of the vaccine is expected to begin in September, with mass, voluntary vaccinations possibly beginning the following month, according to the AP.
© 2020 Cox Media Group