UNITED NATIONS, (Sputnik) - More than 100,000 people have already received the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday.
"To date, more than 100,000 citizens have already been vaccinated. Vaccine Sputnik V is being delivered to all regions of Russia to launch a mass vaccination campaign shortly," Murashko said during a presentation of the vaccine at the United Nations.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to start mass vaccination by the end of the next week. According to Putin, Russia has "manufactured or will have manufactured" more than 2 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Murashko said that Russia is working to increase the production of the vaccine domestically and globally.
"We are going to increase the production of the vaccine in Russia and globally. It currently ranks among top candidate vaccines approaching the end of clinical trials and the start of mass production on the World Health Organization list," he said.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Russia emerged as a leader in vaccine development, as two of its products - Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, and EpiVacCorona, developed by Siberia's research center Vector - are already in the phase 3 trials. Another vaccine, by the Chumakov research center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will begin phase 3 trials early in 2021. The clinical trials of the trailblazer Sputnik V vaccine have demonstrated more than 90 percent efficacy.
Murashko said that post-registration clinical trials launched on August 25 have involved more than 40,000 people in Russia, Belarus, India, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
"Discussions are held about medical trials in Brazil and other countries," he said. Minister assured that collected data shows that "the vaccine causes a strong anti-body and cell immune response," he said.