Putin Tells Russia To Start Giant-Scale Vaccination For Coronavirus : Coronavirus Updates : NPR


A Moscow well being care employee administers a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine throughout scientific trials in September. President Vladimir Putin ordered the nation’s well being authorities to start mass vaccinations subsequent week.

Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/AP


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Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/AP

A Moscow well being care employee administers a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine throughout scientific trials in September. President Vladimir Putin ordered the nation’s well being authorities to start mass vaccinations subsequent week.

Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered mass immunization in opposition to COVID-19 as Russia races to reverse a surge in coronavirus instances and be the primary nation to roll out a vaccine.

Putin issued the order in a videoconference with officers, simply hours after well being authorities in Britain authorised Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

In accordance with authorities figures, Russia has greater than 2.three million coronavirus instances, the fourth highest caseload on the planet after the U.S., India and Brazil. In a single day, Russia handed a brand new each day file of 589 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the nation’s official dying toll to 41,053.

The Kremlin is betting on a Russian-made vaccine known as Sputnik V to assist cease the unfold of COVID-19. Putin introduced the vaccine’s registration with the Russian Well being Ministry in August, when he mentioned one among his daughters had tried it out herself.

Putin has since touted Sputnik V, nonetheless in Section III scientific trials, because the “world’s first registered vaccine in opposition to coronavirus.” The vaccine’s title — the identical as the world’s first synthetic satellite tv for pc, launched the Soviet Union in 1957 — suggests the Kremlin views vaccine growth as a mini-space race.

In November, after Pfizer introduced that interim outcomes confirmed its vaccine was greater than 90% efficient, the Russian authorities researchers making Sputnik V mentioned their vaccine had 92% efficacy. When Pfizer then raised its efficacy fee to 95%, the builders of Sputnik V adopted swimsuit asserting an efficacy of “over 95%.”

Given the margin of error in scientific trials, the proportion variations are doubtless not statistically vital.

Throughout a presentation of the vaccine to the United Nations on Wednesday, Russian Well being Minister Mikhail Murashko mentioned greater than 100,000 folks have been vaccinated with Sputnik V. The makers of Sputnik V plan to begin producing the vaccine in different international locations, together with India and South Korea.

In his assembly with officers, Putin mentioned Russia could have produced greater than 2 million doses of Sputnik V within the coming days and may begin mass vaccination on the finish of subsequent week.

The Kremlin says mass vaccination will likely be freed from cost and carried out on a voluntary foundation. On Wednesday, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, advised reporters he couldn’t say whether or not Russia would wish to import foreign-made vaccines.

It is nonetheless unclear how excessive demand will likely be for Sputnik V. In a single current ballot of Russians, solely 22% of respondents mentioned they have been keen to get a Russian-made vaccine, whereas 44% weren’t. In one other ballot, carried out the nation’s ruling United Russia social gathering, 73% of respondents mentioned they weren’t planning to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 in any respect.



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