Russia is claiming to have the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world.
It’s why Dow futures exploded 258 points this morning. S&P 500 futures were up 18, as the NASDAQ tacked on another 26 points.
“As far as I know, a vaccine against a new coronavirus infection has been registered this morning, for the first time in the world,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also claims one of his daughters has already taken it, as noted by CNBC.
“Although I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, has passed all the necessary checks,” Putin added.
However, despite the news, many are skeptical, sounding the alarm that a rush to use any vaccine before Phase 3 trials could backfire. At the moment, no data has been published by researchers and long-term effects and safety still remain unclear.
The World Health Organization has also urged Russia to follow all of the guidelines and go through all of the stages necessary to develop its vaccine.
In short, markets are up on nothing more than hope that we have a vaccine.
Despite that, Russian sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said it will back the full-scale production of the vaccine, expected to begin next month.
“We have received preliminary applications for over 1 billion doses of the vaccine from 20 countries. Along with our foreign partners, we are already prepared to manufacture over 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries, and the plan is to ramp-up production capacity even higher,” the wealth fund said in a statement, as also quoted by CNBC.
But again, we don’t have Phase 3 data. We don’t know if the vaccine could have side effects, and we don’t know if it’s even safe. It’s not as if the world can rush a vaccine here.