President Vladimir Putin of Russia has ordered that health officials in the country begin coronavirus vaccinations next week. The country has manufactured about 2 million doses of its vaccine.
President Putin’s statement was made on the same day that Britain gave its seal of approval for the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine to be made available to the public, also starting next week. In the previous week, the country produced provisional test results of the Sputnik V vaccine that showed that it was more than 95% effective. The vaccine was developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
The vaccine is currently in the phase 3 clinical trial. This is the final stage of testing and has involved around 40,000 volunteers. The vaccine was named after a satellite from the Soviet era. Putin urged health officials to arrange for widespread vaccinations that would ensure that by the end of the coming week, the country would have already begun extensive vaccination. He added that medics and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated, with an additional 2 million vaccine doses or more being manufactured in the days to come.
The Sputnik V vaccine is given in two doses, with the second dose being administered after 21 days. The jab uses two human adenovirus vectors and will be administered voluntarily to individuals. Additionally, the jab will be free for all citizens of the country.
The defense ministry of Russia had previously announced that a widespread campaign to vaccinate service personnel in the army had begun. The objective is to vaccinate more than 400,000 military personnel, aiming to have inoculated at least 80,000 soldiers by the end of 2020.
Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health in Russia, stated during a UN video link that more than 100,000 individuals had already been inoculated with the Sputnik V vaccine. The video link was centered on vaccine presentation. The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriyev, who was involved in vaccine development, spoke at the same conference, stating that above 40 nations had expressed interest in the Sputnik V vaccine. In addition to this, he said, orders totaling more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses had been made.
Currently, Russia has among the highest cases of the coronavirus globally, with 41,053 casualties and 2,347,401 cases. Last week, health officials reported 25,345 new cases and 589 fatalities. To help contain the virus, authorities plan to close restaurants, concert halls, theatres, museums and bars in St. Petersburg starting Dec. 31.
The novel coronavirus isn’t the only health challenge for which biomedical companies have been working to find solutions. Other challenges, such as chronic diseases, have also received their fair share of attention. For instance, Israel- and New York-based DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO) has been helping chronic disease patients to make beneficial lifestyle changes using DarioHealth’s smartphone-based software.
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