The head of one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals has written an article pumping the brakes on the international scramble for a Covid-19 vaccine.
In it, Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the Science journals, urges politicians not to cut corners as part of a 'dangerous rush' to find a vaccine, and to instead ensure existing protocols and rigorous testing are adhered to.
Official documents reveal the vaccine was approved after tests on only 38 people and 'causes side-effects including fever, pain and swelling'.
The scientific community was outraged after learning of this 'reckless, foolish and unethical' development, and a leading voice has now further urged policymakers to proceed with caution.
'Premature approval of a vaccine in the United States (or anywhere) could be a disastrous replay of the hydroxychloroquine fiasco but with much higher stakes', writes Professor Thorp.
'Countless lives are at stake —no compromises on the vaccine.'
In his article he discusses the purported Russian vaccine, which Putin says has been administered to his own daughter, and the approach of US president Donald Trump.
The much-trumpeted drug was registered after just 42 days of research, Fontanka news agency says - and its effectiveness is said to be 'unknown'.