Russia aims to begin Covid-19 vaccinations in October, starting with medical workers & teachers – health minister

Russia expects to start mass anti-coronavirus vaccinations by October, the country’s health minister has said, adding that medical workers and teachers will be given first priority.

Mikhail Murashko announced on Saturday that clinical trials of a vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamalei Institute have been completed and that the health ministry was aiming to begin a public vaccination program in October. Medical personnel and teachers will be the first to receive the vaccine, Murashko said. “Now, the package of documents for the procedure of registration [of the vaccine] is being prepared,” he added.

The minister also said that another vaccine, developed by Vector, a Novosibirsk-based infectious diseases lab, is undergoing clinical trials. The health ministry is also expecting two more vaccines to be submitted soon to start tests on volunteers.

Russia hopes to become the world’s first country to have a Covid-19 vaccine approved. Normally vaccines take years to develop and properly test – but, given the pandemic circumstances, many nations and pharmaceutical companies have claimed that a safe product could be made in 18 months or less.

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