Moscow has commenced the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, through 70 clinics on Saturday, December 5, 2020, marking Russia’s first mass inoculation against the disease that has infected over 2.4 million people in the country.
According to a report from Reuters, while making the disclosure, Moscow city’s coronavirus task force said that the Russian-made vaccine would first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers and social workers because they have the highest risk of exposure to the disease.
The Russian capital, Moscow, which is the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, reported 7,993 new cases overnight, a sharp increase from 6,868 that was recorded a day earlier and well above the reported daily infection rate of around 700 that was recorded in early September.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, on his personal website, wrote, “Over the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the jab – teachers, doctors, social workers, those who are today risking their health and lives the most.”
The age limit for those expected to receive the vaccine is capped at 60 years. It, however, bars people with certain underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those who have had respiratory illnesses for the past two weeks from being vaccinated.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised government meeting, announced the registration of its first Covid-19 vaccine in what was described as a step ahead of any other vaccine development.
- The Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which was developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), was certified to be 92% effective in protecting people from the virus infection.
- Russia has developed 2 Covid-19 vaccines; Sputnik V which is backed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and another by Siberia’s Vector Institute, with final trials for both yet to be completed.
- Scientists have raised concerns about the safety and speed at which Russia had registered and approved its vaccine, giving the regulatory go-ahead for it and launching mass vaccinations before full trials to test its safety and efficacy had been completed.
- The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two injections, with the second dose expected to be given 21 days after the first.