Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted his gratitude to Russia saying “We are the first country from the Western Hemisphere which will start the Phase III trial of this vaccine against Covid-19.”
The vaccine – named Sputnik V – arrived in red crates in the capital Caracas.
— MIPPCI (@Mippcivzla) October 2, 2020
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez called the shipment a historic moment and expressed her enthusiasm that “Venezuela is the first country in the western hemisphere to participate in Phase III of this vaccine’s clinical trials.”
“Immediately, this month, we will be starting in the country, starting with the capital, the corresponding clinical trial phase,” said Minister of Health Carlos Alvarado.
The vaccine, nicknamed after the USSR’s first space satellite, was registered in Russia in August, before a large-scale Phase III trial of the drug was conducted.
The decision was criticized by some Western nations, who called it reckless as there hasn’t been much time to test the vaccines, but Moscow insist they are safe.
The batch delivered to Venezuela is part of a post-approval trial, which involves some 40,000 volunteers and is conducted with the help of some of Russia’s foreign allies. The results of the study are expected to be reported within two months.
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