Russia registers first Covid vaccine, hopes to begin mass inoculation soon

The move clears the way for widespread use of the vaccine among Russia’s population, with production starting next month, although it may take until January to complete trials
President Vladimir Putin said Russia cleared the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for use and hopes to begin mass inoculation soon, even before clinical testing has finished.

“The first registration has taken place,” Putin said Tuesday at a televised government meeting, adding that one of his daughters has already been given the vaccine. “I hope that we can soon begin mass production.”

 
The move clears the way for widespread use of the vaccine among Russia’s population, with production starting next month, although it may take until January to complete trials.

Medical workers could begin receiving the drug by the end of the month, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at the meeting.

The announcement represents a propaganda coup for the Kremlin amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic and accusations that Russian hackers sought to steal international drug research. The disease has killed nearly 750,000 people, infected more than 20 million and crippled national economies.

Companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results. Russia indicated how it regards the development, naming the vaccine Sputnik V in a nod to the Soviet Union’s achievement in launching the world’s first satellite into space in 1957.



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