WHO said all vaccine candidates should go through full stages of testing before being rolled out. According to WHO data, more than 100 candidates vaccines are being developed around the world, and at least four are in Phase 3 human trials.
"WHO is aware that a COVID-19 vaccine has been registered in the Russian Federation's national medicines registry," the agency said in a statement to USA TODAY. "WHO is in touch with Russian scientists and authorities, and looks forward to reviewing details of the trials."
Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, said bad vaccines are not only ineffective against SARS-CoV-2 but also could harm public health by driving the virus to evolve and become stronger.
"I don’t believe in the Russian vaccine. I don’t believe in playing Russian roulette with my health," Pitts said. "Vaccines are too important to allow them to become propaganda. ... The only thing that's worse than no vaccine is a bad vaccine."