Moscow — Russia has brushed aside international concerns about the safety of the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine and announced it will start mass inoculation this month before clinical testing is completed.

“Western colleagues, who can sense the competitive advantage of the Russian drug, are expressing opinions that are completely unjustified in our view,” health minister Mikhail Murashko told a briefing on Wednesday. “This vaccine is a platform that is already well-known and studied,” he said, adding that other countries have developed antidotes under accelerated testing programmes...

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