US experts express concern over Russian COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 10:01 PM, Aug 12, 2020

Earlier this week, Russian president Vladimir Putin said that his country has produced a vaccine against the coronavirus, but American-based experts have expressed concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine, and whether the country cut corners in its production.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with ABC News’ Deborah Roberts that he has concerns that the vaccine has not had a chance to be fully studied by scientists.

"I hope that the Russians have actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective," Fauci said. "I seriously doubt that they've done that."

Also in an interview with ABC News, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that while the US hopes to have a vaccine produced soon, it’s important to have a one that is fully vetted by science.

“The point is not to be first with a vaccine, the point is to have a vaccine that is safe and effective for the American people and the people of the world,” Azard told ABC.

Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is a Russian governmental agency, says that the vaccine has quickly garnered demand throughout the world, with 20 countries requesting the vaccine.

"We can confirm that 1 billion is the request, actually slightly more than 1 billion, is the amount of preliminary requests we received from more than 20 countries so far,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said.

While Putin did not confirm if he had taken the vaccine, he said that his daughter was received it.

While the US has a number of ongoing trials, it appears that a vaccine is still months away from getting approved. And then getting a vaccine to millions of Americans could take additional time.

President Donald Trump said he is ready to employ military resources in order to quickly distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. There is immense pressure on the US to produce a vaccine with more than 1,000 Americans dying from the coronavirus per day in recent weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“I feel strongly that we will have a vaccine by the end of the year and it will be put in service maybe even as we get it because we are already set militarily, we are using our military to distribute the vaccine,” Trump said.