Moscow, August 11: Hours after Russia officially launched the world's first vaccine against coronavirus, Germany joined the United States and the United Kingdom in raising questions against Moscow's "silver bullet". The German Health Ministry, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said questions related to the development of vaccine and adherence to safety norms were not effectively addressed by Russian officials.

"There is no known data on the quality, efficacy and safety of the Russian vaccine," the spokeswoman of Health Ministry said. Her remarks come amid criticism from Washington and London over the non-release of data related to phase 2 and phase 3 of the clinical trials. Russia's COVID-19 Vaccine: Safety Concerns? When Will It be Available for Public? All About World's 1st 'Silver Bullet' Against Coronavirus.

"Patient safety is of the highest priority," the health ministry spokeswoman was further quoted as saying by German newspaper network RND.

Dr Anthony Fauci, who heads the American state health body to control epidemics, was also critical of the alleged opaque manner in which Russia has developed the vaccine candidate.

"I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccines before they are administering the vaccine to anyone," Fauci was reported as saying. He further added that vaccine shots that may have side-effects may create a new health crisis amid the pandemic.

The UK government has decided to not to procure the vaccine developed by Russia due to safety concerns. A top health department official told the Telegraph that the vaccine would not be used on any British citizen.

Russia attempted to allay concerns related to vaccine safety, with President Vladimir Putin announcing today the first recipient of the dose is one of his two daughters. "I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," Putin was reported as saying.

The Russian Health Ministry has so far released data only on phase 1 of the trials, which began on June 17. A total of 76 volunteers were involved, with all of them succeeding in triggering an immunity response against COVID-19. The data on second phase of trials was yet to be released, whereas, the third phase is expected to be initiated shortly.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 11, 2020 09:25 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website