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Coronavirus

Russia’s Vaccine Available at Moscow Facilities

December 3, 2020

MOSCOW — Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V will be available for people in high-risk groups at 70 medical facilities in Moscow starting on Saturday.

According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, those working in education and medical facilities, along with municipal workers, can get the shots. The vaccine will be offered to people ages 18 to 60 who don’t suffer from chronic illnesses and to women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding.

The advanced trial of the vaccine is still ongoing, but the shots had already been offered to people from high-risk groups, such as medical workers and teachers.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the government to start “large-scale” vaccination in Russia by the end of next week, with medical workers and teachers the first in line. The statement came hours after Britain became the first country in the West to authorize the use of a vaccine against the coronavirus developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.

Russia touted its domestically developed vaccine, Sputnik V, as the world’s “first registered COVID-19 vaccine” after the government gave it regulatory approval in early August. The vaccine received the go-ahead after having been tested on only several dozen people, which drew considerable criticism at home and abroad.

Health experts say the vaccine needs to complete advanced studies among tens of thousands of people to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday that more than 100,000 people in Russia have been given the shots.

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