Putin announces the beginning of mass vaccination in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start mass vaccination against coronavirus of all Russian citizens starting next week, RIA Novosti reports.

"We need to move from large-scale to mass vaccination, and I ask to keep this in mind, to prepare appropriate infrastructure, (...) I ask you, starting next week, (...) to make an appropriate schedule for this work, similarly to how it is practiced for other diseases, such as influenza, for example,"Putin said.

The President noted that no problems should arise in this connection, as Sputnik V does not require special transportation conditions. He also said that the Russian vaccine was the best in the world, but noted that one still needs to understand how it would work against the background of other strains of the novel virus.

Date to launch mass vaccination announced

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova promised to start the mass vaccination from Monday, January 18.

"As of today, we understand that by the end of January, that is, for use by the population, as many as 2.1 million doses of the vaccine will be received, and we will need to considerably increase the vaccination campaign," she said.

Vaccination in Russia lasts for more than one month.

The vaccination campaign kicked off in Russia on December 5, 2020. Teachers and medical workers were the first to be vaccinated.

The Russian drug Sputnik V became the world's first registered vaccine based on the human adenovirus vector platform. At the end of December, the Russian Ministry of Health approved the use of Sputnik V for vaccination of individuals over 60 years old.

In Russia, in addition to Sputnik V, which was developed by the Gamaleya Microbiology Center, there was another vaccine registered - EpiVacCorona. This is a peptide drug, developed on the basis of artificially synthesized proteins. According to virologist Anatoly Altstein, EpiVacCorona could be less effective because the category of such drugs is studied insufficiently.

Mass vaccination in other countries of the world

Several other COVID-19 vaccines have been registered in other countries too. The USA and Great Britain started vaccinating people with the drug developed by Pfizer/BioNTech companies. This drug will not be supplied to Russia. Vaccine supplies can be possible only at the level of government agreements.

In addition, the USA has allowed the vaccine developed by Moderna. British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has also announced the start of clinical trials for a combination of its AZD1222 vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, Russia has registered 22,850 new cases of coronavirus infection. The total number of infected individuals since the beginning of the pandemic in Russia amounts to 3.471,053.