Coronavirus vaccination has kicked off in Moscow for at-risk groups including medical, educational, and social workers on Saturday. According to a report by the Live Mint, Moscow has started the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V via 70 clinics.
The COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, made in Russia, will first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers, and social workers because they run the highest risk of exposure to the infection.
The vaccinations come three days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the launch of a "large-scale" COVID-19 immunization campaign even though a Russian-designed vaccine has yet to complete the advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety in line with established scientific protocols.
The Russian leader said Wednesday that more than 2 million doses of the Sputnik V will be available in the next few days, allowing authorities to offer COVID-19 vaccines to medical workers and teachers across the country.
The Sputnik V shot works in a manner similar to the COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca team in Britain, using other viruses to deliver molecules from the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 into human bodies in order to stimulate an immune response.
Russia has been swept with a resurgence of the outbreak this fall, with numbers of new infections exceeding the levels recorded early in the pandemic, but the authorities so far have refrained from a tight lockdown imposed in the spring.
On Saturday, Russia reported a new record high of daily infections at 28,782, including 7,993 in Moscow. The government task force has recorded a total of 42,684 virus-related deaths since the start of the outbreak. Russia's total of over 2.4 million confirmed cases is currently the fourth-largest caseload in the world behind the United States, India and Brazil.
(Inputs from Agencies)