Health Reporter
THE first Covid-19 vaccine has been registered after less than two-month long human trials in Russia which is set to avert new infections of the pandemic which has claimed more than 737 000 lives in the world.

According to online sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has already been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans.

President Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it.

The vaccine, according to experts, is not among the World Health Organisation’s list of six vaccines that have reached phase three clinical trials, which involve more widespread testing in humans.

Calling it a world first, President Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, offered “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus.

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the vaccine had “proven to be highly effective and safe”, hailing it as a big step towards “humankind’s victory” over Covid-19.

The vaccine is based on human adenovirus and contains dead Covid-19 particles which cannot multiply and are therefore safe, according to Mr Alexander Gintzburg, head of the Gamaleya Centre.

“However, it can provoke an immune response such as high temperature to the introduction of foreign substances,” he added.

The vaccine is called GamCovidVac, standing for “Gamaleya Covid Vaccine.”

Last week, the Russian government announced it was preparing to begin mass vaccinations after saying it had carried out successful trials of the vaccine.

Zimbabwe recorded 99 new Covid-19 cases on Monday bringing the total number of cases to 4 748.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 68 of the reported cases were local transmissions while 31 were reported from returning residents from South Africa.

No new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, and the death toll remains at 104.

A total of 1 524 people have so far recovered from the virus, after 87 new recoveries were reported yesterday while active Covid-19 have since gone up to 3 120.

Bulawayo province has a cumulative 1 111 cases with 23 deaths, Matabeleland North has 88 cases with three deaths while Matabeleland South has a total of 507 cases with two deaths.