Wednesday January 13th 2021
“Best vaccine in the world”
Putin orders mass vaccination
Although Russia approved its corona vaccine in August, the vaccinations are making slow progress. Now everything is about to change: President Putin instructs the authorities to quickly immunize all Russians with the “best vaccine in the world”. First of all, the Kremlin boss gives himself time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the start of corona mass vaccinations from next week. “I ask you to start mass vaccination of the entire population next week,” Putin instructed the authorities at a televised government meeting. The head of state also praised the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” as “the best in the world”. Putin left it open whether he would be vaccinated.
Russia was the first country in the world to approve its corona vaccine in August – even before the third and final phase of the clinical studies was completed. This approach met with sharp criticism and reservations internationally. According to Russian information, which has not yet been verified by an independent party, Sputnik V has an effectiveness of 95 percent.
At the beginning of December the vaccination of risk groups with “Sputnik V” began. According to Putin, all 146 million people in the country should now be vaccinated quickly. Russia should “prepare the relevant infrastructure” in order to boost production of the vaccine, said the head of state. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced that another two million doses of vaccine should be delivered by the end of January.
However, experts are skeptical. According to them, the country may not be ready to start mass production of corona vaccines. Putin himself had said in October that Russia did not have enough equipment to start the mass introduction of the vaccine.
As of Wednesday, the Russian authorities had reported more than 3.47 million cases of infection. The authorities estimate the deaths to be more than 186,000 – the third highest number in the world. The authorities do not provide any data on the number of people vaccinated. According to the “Sputnik V” manufacturer more than a million people have been vaccinated in Russia.