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3 Dec, 2020 14:31

Half the world could get Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, say creators, as Moscow starts distributing doses en masse

Half the world could get Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, say creators, as Moscow starts distributing doses en masse

At least 40 countries, representing more than half of the world's population, have expressed interest in Russia's coronavirus vaccine, the team behind it have said as mass vaccination begins in Moscow.

At a presentation to the United Nations on Thursday, scientists from the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the formula, said that preliminary orders have been placed for more than 1.2 billion doses. Trials involving 45,000 people across the globe have concluded that 95 percent of those given both doses of Sputnik V develop immunity to the virus.

On Wednesday, the vaccine's creators released footage of vials touching down in India ahead of the start of studies into its efficacy there. A number of countries, including Hungary, Venezuela and the UAE, have already imported sufficient quantities to conduct their own tests. At the same time, the Philippines announced that it would work with Russia to secure access to supplies in order to begin mass immunizations early next year.

On Thursday, Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin announced that residents of the capital would be able to access the vaccine from Saturday. Doctors, teachers and social workers will be first in line for appointments, and an "electronic immunization record" will be set up. According to Sobyanin, Muscovites will be able to get the jab at 'vaccine points' set up around the city.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of the program on Wednesday, adding that "the production of Sputnik V, the world's first registered vaccine against the coronavirus infection, is what allows us to begin the vaccination."

Also on rt.com Sputnik V touches down in Asia: Russian Covid-19 vaccine trials begin in India as countries vie for international rights

Russia made headlines in August when it became the first country to approve a formula to protect against Covid-19. While some international commentators and scientists expressed concern at the speed with which the formula was registered, its creators argue that the decision was based on positive early trial data which was published in The Lancet medical journal.

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