Venezuelan president mulls giving Russian COVID-19 shots to election candidates
CARACAS (VENEZUELA) – President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela came out with a proposal on Tuesday to administer Russian coronavirus vaccine to nearly 15,000 candidates in the upcoming legislative polls.
After less than two months of human trials, Russia gave approval for the commercial production of a coronavirus vaccine, a move which was viewed with scepticism by the medical fraternity as only 10% of clinical trials are successful.
The president’s adversaries are mulling boycotting the election on Dec. 6 as they believe it will be rigged in favour of the ruling Socialist Party.
“It would be a good idea to give the Russian vaccine to the 14,400 candidates who have registered … so that they can carry out their electoral campaign more comfortably,” Maduro said in an interview with a television channel.
Maduro said that in September, some Russian vaccines would arrive for clinical trials and the following month, other vaccines would come to the country.
The “Sputnik-V” vaccine of Russia has produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, said a study published in the The Lancet medical journal.
Kirill Dmitriev, who heads Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which has backed the vaccine, said at least 3,000 people had been roped in for the mass trial of Sputnik-V and the first results are expected in October or November.
The sovereign wealth fund said that 40,000 participants are there for the trials.