Russian health authorities are preparing to launch a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in October, the health minister said.
Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine.
Reuters, citing anonymous sources, said Russia’s first potential vaccine would be approved by regulators this month.
However, some experts are concerned about Russia’s fast-track approach.
On Friday, the leading infectious disease specialist in the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped Russia – and China – “actually tested the vaccine” before giving them to anyone.
Dr Fauci said the United States should have a “safe and effective” vaccine by the end of this year.
“I don’t think there will be vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to depend on other countries to get us vaccines,” he told US lawmakers.
Dozens of possible coronavirus vaccines are in development around the world, and more than 20 are currently in clinical trials.
Mr Murashko, as quoted by the Interfax news agency, said that the Gamaleya Institute, a research center in Moscow, had completed clinical trials for a vaccine and paperwork was being prepared for its registration.
“We are planning larger vaccinations for October,” he said, adding that teachers and doctors would be the first to receive them.
Last month, Russian scientists said the first trials of an adenovirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute had been completed and the results were a success.
Last month, UK, US and Canadian security services said a Russian hacking group had targeted various organizations involved in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, with the likely intention of stealing information.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has said it is over 95% certain that the group called APT29 – also known as The Dukes or Cozy Bear – is part of the intelligence service Russian.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin dismissed the accusation, telling the BBC that there was “no sense in it”.
In the UK, trials of a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford have shown it can trigger an immune response and an agreement has been signed with AstraZeneca to deliver 100 million doses in Britain alone .