Russia begins production of COVID-19 vaccine

Russian has launched the production of the vaccine against COVID-19, the Russian Health Ministry said on Saturday, Sputnik reports.

“The production of the vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has started,” the Ministry said.

Earlier this week, Russia registered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V. The Russian Ministry of Health has said that Sputnik V had undergone all necessary checks and proven to be capable of building immunity against the virus.

The vaccine was developed jointly by the Gamaleya research institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. It has two separately injected components that together are expected to build sustainable immunity against the virus. The vaccine has so far been tested on 76 volunteers separately at two institutions — the Moscow-based Sechenov University and the Defence Ministry’s Burdenko Main Military Clinical Hospital.

Russian officials have said the country is capable of producing 500 million doses of the vaccine in the next 12 months, with production expected to be conducted abroad.

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