World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced at a press conference on Friday, September 4 in Switzerland, that the United Nations (UN) health agency will not issue any COVID-19 vaccines unless proven safe and effective. Despite the usage of experimental vaccines in Russia and China, Ghebreyesus reassures that all vaccines WHO will distribute to the public have undergone proper testing. However, some countries aside from China and Russia continue to practice using vaccines with proper authorization. In Britain, the government allows the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines as long as they meet safety and quality standards despite not being licensed.

Russia was the first country to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine in August. The vaccine, otherwise known as Sputnik V, is being tested on about 40,000 citizens in the country. This includes one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. On September 4, Russian scientists published a data report of their studies that show that the vaccines are safe. However, the limited results lack the sufficient evidence to prove this. China, on the other hand, has been using their own experimental vaccines in the country. In the meantime, large-scale studies to prove the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness are still ongoing.