Following the completion of its vaccine clinical trials, the Russia’s health ministry is preparing a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus for October, local news agencies reported over the weekend.
In an Interfax news agency report, Mikhail Murashko, the Russian Health Minister made it clear that the Gamaleya Institute, a state research facility in Moscow, had completed clinical trials of the vaccine and paperwork is being prepared to register it.
He also revealed that doctors and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated.
“We plan wider vaccinations for October,” Murashko was quoted as saying.
An unnamed source informed Reuters this week that Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine would secure local regulatory approval in August and be administered to health workers soon thereafter.
For some time the Gamaleya Institute has been working on an adenovirus-based vaccine.
Already some western media have started to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before science and safety, this is due to the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine.
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, has likened the Russia’s success in developing a vaccine to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite.
Russia on Saturday, reported 95 additional deaths from COVID-19.
In the meantime, there are about 100 possible vaccines which are being developed around the world to try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, four is said to be in final Phase III human trials, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data, including three developed in China and another in Britain.