RussiaThousands of doctors, teachers and people at high risk signed up for the Covid-19 vaccine in 70 clinics in Moscow, on December 5.
“In the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the vaccination. Teachers, doctors, social workers who risk their health and lives the most every day,” said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
The vaccination comes three days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of a “large-scale” Covid-19 vaccination campaign, which claimed more than two million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine were ready.
Putin stressed that teachers and medical staff were the first to be vaccinated. Immunization is carried out on a voluntary basis, Russian citizens are vaccinated free of charge.
People with underlying illness, pregnant women and people with breathing problems within the past two weeks will not be eligible for the vaccine.
On December 2, when presenting Sputnik V to the United Nations, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said more than 100,000 Russians had been vaccinated. Before that, the Russian Defense Ministry started a campaign to vaccinate in the military, with the goal of vaccinating more than 400,000 soldiers.
The Russian Ministry of Health, the Gamaleya Research Center and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced on November 24 that Sputnik V was 95% effective according to the second analysis of clinical trial data. About 40,000 volunteers currently participate in the third-stage Sputnik V trial, of which more than 22,000 have received the first dose and about 19,000 have received both doses.
In August, Sputnik V became the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world to be licensed. At that time, Putin declared that Sputnik V “passed all the tests”, was effective and helped build a sustainable immune system, although phase three was not completed.
Putin himself has yet to be vaccinated because “in that position, he cannot use what is still being tested,” explained the Kremlin spokesman. Putin said one of his daughters had been vaccinated and after that was fine.
Russia, currently the fourth largest epidemic zone in the world after the US, India, and Brazil with more than 2.4 million cases and more than 42,000 deaths. Like many European countries, cases in Russia have increased recently, but the rate of spread has slowed down after peaking on 27/11. Russia did not block the country in the second Covid-19 wave, but instead imposed restrictions on each region depending on the level of risk.
Bao Chau (According to the AP, Reuters)