Moscow: In the race to develop the vaccine for Coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia has become the first nation in the world to grant regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. He added that his daughter has been vaccinated.

The announcement came in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide, thus, crippling world economies.

Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.

“I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.

He said he hoped the country would soon start mass producing the vaccine.

Russia’s first coronavirus vaccine is developed jointly by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.

Clinical trials of the vaccine began on June 18 and included 38 volunteers. All of the participants developed immunity. The first group was discharged on July 15 and the second group on July 20.

Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine. Many scientists in the country and abroad have been skeptical, questioning the decision to introduce the vaccine for public use before phase 3 trials that normally lasts for months and involve thousands of people.