Syria has authorized the use of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia, the Syrian Embassy in Moscow announced on Feb. 22.
“The Syrian Arab Republic has fulfilled all the procedures for registering the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus infection and permitted its use on its territory,” the embassy said in statement, as cited by Russian news agency TASS.
Syria becomes the latest country to approve the vaccine that was met with criticism and controversy last August when it was registered for emergency use even though it had yet to undergo more extensive Phase 3 clinical trials. At that time, critics also pointed out the lack of transparency from earlier trials.
On Feb. 2, leading independent general medical journal The Lancet published results revealing that the Sputnik V vaccine was safe and had a 91.6% efficacy rate against COVID-19.
According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, over 30 countries have authorized the use of the vaccine, such as Hungary, Argentina, and Mexico.
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed that Syria has recorded 15,230 COVID-19 cases and 1,001 deaths.