Russia Opens Vaccination Centers After Putin Orders Mass Covid-19 Shots

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Russia Opens Vaccination Centers After Putin Orders Mass Covid-19 Shots” – below is their description.

    President Vladimir Putin said Russia should begin general vaccination of the population against Covid-19 next week, the same day the U.K. became the first western country to approve a vaccine for use.

    “Let’s take this first step,” Putin told officials Wednesday during a video conference on the opening of Covid-19 hospitals built by the Defense Ministry. More than 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine will be ready for use within the next few days and “this gives us the opportunity to start vaccination on a mass scale,” he said.

    Russia has the world’s fifth-highest number of cases globally, with more than 2.3 million, and reported a daily record death toll of 589 on Wednesday. The country has a total population of about 145 million people.

    Putin announced the registration of Sputnik V in August as the world’s first vaccination against Covid-19, and a second inoculation was approved in October, even as Phase 3 trials to establish safety and efficacy are still taking place. Since then, officials have said “mass” vaccination would start soon even as some manufacturers expressed concerns about production constraints.

    So far more than 100,000 Russians have been vaccinated, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said during a video presentation of Russia’s vaccine to the United Nations.

    About three-fourths of those people are medical volunteers outside the clinical trial, said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is backing the vaccine. Russia is seeking approval for Sputnik V use in 40 countries, he said at a briefing after the U.N. session.

    Putin’s announcement that Russia is beginning large-scale public vaccination came on the same day as U.K. authorities cleared a vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BionTech SE for use from next week.

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    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

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    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

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    Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

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    The phase III trial for Gam-COVID-Vac was registered on 28 August 2020, and is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre clinical trial involving 40,000 volunteers. The phase III trial is scheduled to run until May 2021.

    On 5 December 2020, Russia began mass vaccinations in Moscow, with 70 clinics inoculating those most at risk from the virus. Health workers and teachers were said to have priority in the first mass immunisation programme. People who had received injections in the last 30 days or had respiratory diseases in the previous two weeks were excluded, as well as those with certain chronic illnesses, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

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