German health minister says he's sceptical about Russian COVID-19 vaccine

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday said he was sceptical about Russia becoming the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, saying it was key to have a safe, tested product rather than just being first.

Russia's vaccine, which will be called "Sputnik V" in homage to the world's first satellite launched by the Soviet Union, has not yet completed its final trials. Its regulatory approval came after less than two months of human testing.

"It's not about being first somehow - it's about having an effective, tested and therefore safe vaccine," Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio.

"In order to have trust in such a vaccine, I think it is very, very important, even during a pandemic, to properly do studies, the relevant tests and especially to make them public. The problem is that we know very little about it as the Russian authorities are not being very transparent," he said.

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(Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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