Russia prepares mass vaccination against coronavirus for October


MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s health minister is preparing a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus for October, local news agencies reported on Saturday, after clinical trials for a vaccine ended.

FILE PHOTO: Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko speaks during a protest ahead of the opening of a new section for the treatment of patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the medical center and NI Pirogov National Surgery in Moscow, Russia on April 3, 2020. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov / File Photo

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the Gamaleya Institute, a state research center in Moscow, has completed clinical trials of the vaccine and paperwork is being prepared to register it, reported the Interfax press agency.

He said doctors and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated.

“We are planning wider vaccinations for October,” Murashko said.

A source told Reuters this week that Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine would get local regulatory approval in August and would be given to health workers soon after.

The Gamaleya Institute is working on an adenovirus vaccine.

Yet the speed at which Russia sets out to deploy it has made some Western media question whether Moscow is putting national prestige ahead of science and security.

Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, compared what he said was Russia’s success in developing a vaccine to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite in the world.

Russia reported 95 more deaths from the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing its total to 14,058.

Authorities reported 5,462 new cases, bringing the total to 845,443.

More than 100 possible vaccines are under development around the world in an attempt to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), at least four are in the final stages of human trials, including three developed in China and another in Britain.

Report by Vladimir Soldatkin; edited by Edmund Blair and Jason Neely

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