Russia will start the production of its COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks, the country’s health minister Mikhail Murashko said.
“First of all, the production facilities in Russia will be oriented towards the domestic market, to meet the need of our citizens,” Murashko said during a news conference on Wednesday.
Russia will offer the vaccine to other countries when it has sufficient amounts, the minister said, adding that foreign nations’ doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine are unfounded.
The platform where the vaccine was created has been thoroughly studied and its authors have accumulated a sufficient amount of scientific data to guarantee its safety, he added.
The world’s first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday during an online meeting with government officials.
The vaccine, named Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, alongside the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Russia plans to produce at least five million doses of the vaccine a month from December through January, according to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center.
He said that the center is also preparing documents to obtain permission to test the vaccine on children.
The vaccine for children will be the same as the one for adults, but will likely be administered in a different dosage, requiring additional testing, Gintsburg added.
So far, Russia has tallied a total of 902,701 COVID-19 cases, including 15,260 deaths and 710,298 recoveries.