Moscow CNN  — 

In August, Russian state media rolled out the red carpet for a bombshell announcement – President Vladimir Putin, from his residence outside Moscow, unveiled what he said was the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine, meant to bring Russia closer to the end of a devastating pandemic.

Putin, who is famously secretive about his family, said one of his daughters had already been inoculated as part of the early-stage trials and felt “well,” to bulk up the vaccine’s safety claims.

Now, as the second wave of Covid-19 hits the country – with record numbers of new infections and deaths – the vaccine, named Sputnik V, is far from being widely available to the general public.

Russia has passed a grim milestone of 1.5 million cases and at least 26,269 deaths, although experts have previously cast doubts on Russia’s counting methods.

Lagging in trials

Russia approved the vaccine after trying it on several dozen subjects in a non-blind study and ahead of Phase 3 trials, which are key to establish its safety and efficacy, drawing skepticism from the international community and accusations it could have jumped the gun for political gains.