Moscow previously planned to start mass vaccinations against COVID-19 in 2021 and make it voluntary. Last week, Russia began mass coronavirus vaccinations among its armed forces personnel, planning to vaccinate over 400,000 servicemen in total.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked Deputy Prime Minister of Russia for Social Policy Tatiana Golikova to start mass COVID-19 vaccinations next week. The president told Golikova not to report to him next week, but to begin the mass vaccinations and get to work on it as soon as possible.
“I know that we have manufactured or will have manufactured more than 2 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in the next few days, it was the first in the world to be registered. This allows us to start large-scale vaccination, if not a mass one, and of course, as we had agreed, it would concern the two at-risk groups first of all, doctors and teachers”, Putin said.
“If you think that we are ready for this step, I would ask you to organise it so that we will start mass vaccinations by the end of the next week”, the president continued.
Golikova confirmed that it would be possible to do so and stressed that the vaccinations would be voluntary and free of charge.
In August, Russia became the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V. The vaccine, which is based on a human adenoviral vector platform, was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and is currently completing phase 3 clinical trials.