Russia is launching mass vaccination against coronavirus before the New Year, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
According to Peskov, vaccination will take place in several stages that will take into account geographical peculiarities of the country.
"There will be a few phases, but the goal is to have the least amount of them, so that everyone could be provided with the vaccine as soon as possible," said Peskov.
At the same time, it is too early to designate the time, when everyone could get an opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Peskov said. According to him, it depends on Russia's geography and peculiarities of the storage of the vaccine.
The Kremlin is aware of the problems that a number of Russian pharmaceutical companies face in connection with the launch of the vaccine production.
"Some have achieved greater progress, some others did not - this is an absolutely normal process," Peskov said.
It remains unknown how many doses of the vaccine will be produced by the time when the vaccination begins. According to the Kremlin spokesman, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin recently had a meeting with manufacturers of the vaccine.
"This is what the headquarters and our manufacturers are doing now," Peskov assured, stressing that "timelines are to be discussed, but tit is up to the headquarters to announce them."
Russia has already launched more than 100,000 doses of the vaccine into circulation.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that mass vaccination against coronavirus in Russia was to start in early 2021. According to her, more than 117,000 doses of the domestic vaccine called Sputnik V have already been released into circulation, and it is planned to produce more than two million doses by the end of the year.
According to the manufacturers of the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the effectiveness of Sputnik V was higher than 95 percent on the 42nd day after the first injection (21st day after the second injection), when volunteers had developed a stable immune response to the infection.
To date, Russia has two registered vaccines against COVID-19. The first drug to be registered was Sputnik V. On October 14, President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of EpiVacCorona developed by Vector Center. A third drug is being developed by the Chumakov Center. The mass production of the vaccine is to begin in February 2021.