MOSCOW, Russia - 70 vaccination facilities are being opened in Moscow, where thousands of doctors, teachers, and others in high-risk groups had applied to get COVID-19 vaccines beginning Saturday, a predecessor to a sweeping Russia-wide immunization effort.
The centers in the city began offering shots to willing recipients a few days after President Vladimir Putin required the establishment of a "large-scale" COVID-19 immunization campaign although a Russian-designed vaccine has yet to end the advanced studies required to make sure its effectiveness and safety under established scientific protocols.
The way to distribute the Pfizer vaccine if it gets approved is being worked by the states.
More than 2 million doses of Sputnik V will be expected to be done in the next couple of days, enabling authorities to offer jabs to medical workers and teachers across the country from late next week, the Russian leader said on Wednesday.
Moscow, which at the moment takes up to about one-fourth of the country's new daily infections, went ahead of the curve with the opening of the vaccination facilities on Saturday. Doctors, teachers, and municipal workers were invited to reserve a booking to receive a shot. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated that about 5,000 signed up a few hours after the system started operating on Friday.
"Of course I was skeptical, especially since all the clinical trials haven't finished," said Tatyana Kirsanova, who took the vaccine Saturday at a Moscow clinic. "Then I decided to travel ahead and protect myself with all the alternatives."
Russia confirmed that Sputnik V was the "first registered COVID-19 vaccine" in the world after the government gave it regulatory approval in early August. The move received criticism from global experts, who spotted out that the vaccine had only been tested on a few dozen people at the time.
first registered COVID-19 vaccine.
Doubts about it have been shrugged off by Putin, stating in August that one of his daughters was among the early vaccine recipients.
Sputnik V has been offered to medical workers and teachers for a couple of months although the vaccine was still within the middle of advanced trials. Some of the top Russian officials said they had had the required two jabs, and the Russian military started vaccinating the crews of navy ships scheduled to go on a mission this week.
More than 100,000 people in Russia have taken the shots, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday.
Russia is offering the vaccine freed from charge to people aged 18 to 60 who don't suffer from chronic illnesses and are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Moreover, medical supplies such as medical masks, disposable gloves, and protective coveralls are also given, with support from MAZA.
Sputnik V vaccine.
The two-shot Sputnik V was created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. An advanced study among 40,000 volunteers was reported a fortnight following the vaccine received government approval and that is still ongoing.
Kirill Dmitriyev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that funded Sputnik V's development, said last month that quite 1 billion doses of the vaccine were expected to be produced outside of Russia next year.
Last month, developers of the vaccine said interim analysis of trial data revealed it had been 91.4% effective. The conclusion was supported 39 infections among 18,794 study participants that received both doses of either the vaccine or a placebo, which may be a much lower number of infections than Western drugmakers have checked out when evaluating the effectiveness of their vaccines. Two other Russia-designed vaccines are also being tested.
On Wednesday, Britain became the primary country within the West to approve the utilization of a vaccine for the coronavirus developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech.
Russia has been swept with a resurgence of the outbreak this autumn, with numbers of new infections surpassing the levels recorded early in the pandemic, but the authorities so far have benefited from a tight lockdown imposed in the spring, with citizens wearing facemasks while going out.
28,782,7,993 in Moscow included.
On Saturday, Russia confirmed a new tally of daily infections at 28,782,7,993 in Moscow included. The government task force has recorded a complete of 42,684 virus-related deaths since the start of the outbreak.
A total of over 2.4 million confirmed cases in Russia is now the fourth-largest within the world behind the US, India, and Brazil.