Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, on Saturday, said that more than 800,000 people in Russia have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, reported Turkish News Agency Anadolu Agency. He further said that the mass vaccination campaign continues in the country. Russia started with vaccinating people over the age of 60, and as of now, more than 1.5 million vaccines have been delivered to various parts of the country.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that Sputnik V has at least 95 percent efficacy, adding that Russia has given the world good, safe, and efficient vaccine products. The Russian President thanked the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for producing the vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The Russian leader cited the health experts, saying that the shot hits 96-97 percent efficacy in one dose as it is administered into the patient’s body. According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Putin will receive the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine soon.
Putin had given a green light to the Sputnik V vaccine back in August, making it the first vaccine in the world to get government approval. While approving the vaccine, Putin had claimed that even his daughter received a trial shot of the vaccine, which experts said was probably to build confidence regarding the safety of the drug. Many questions were raised by the international community regarding the safety of Sputnik V due to the lack of trial data provided by Russia.
Russia announced to conduct a mass trial in October in order to ward off all the concerns surrounding the vaccine. Then in December, Putin directed his government to start a mass vaccination campaign in Moscow, prioritising high-risk groups. Children, pregnant women, people with pre-existing medical conditions have been left out of the programme due to the non-availability of data to determine how the vaccine will react to them.
After Russia, Belarus is the first country to approve Sputnik V jabs and registered the vaccine on December 21. In a statement on its official website, Sputnik V wrote that the first doses of the vaccine arrived in Belarus as the erstwhile Soviet republic began its mass inoculation drive against coronavirus. The website also revealed that Russia Sovereign Wealth Fund (RDIF) has signed Belarusian pharmaceutical brand Belpharmprom to establish local production of Sputnik V in Belarus.