Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the start of a large-scale vaccination program that will launch next week.
Putin announced the program yesterday during an online meeting about new COVID-19 hospitals. Doctors and teachers will be the first to get vaccinated with the “Sputnik Five.”
The name of the vaccine is the same as the artificial satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957, the first in the world, and may suggest the Kremlin sees vaccine development as a mini-space race. Putin has praised Sputnik V as the “world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus.”
The vaccine is still in phase three clinical trials and has yet to complete advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
Russia has a total of over 2.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases which is the fourth largest in the world.
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