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Russia plans mass vaccination

Russian health authorities are preparing to launch a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister said.

Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine.

Reuters said, citing anonymous sources, that Russia’s first potential vaccine would be approved by regulatory authorities later this month.

However, some experts are concerned about Russia’s accelerated approach.

On Friday, the leading expert on infectious diseases in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped that Russia – and China – would “actually test the vaccine” before administering it to anyone.

Dr Fauci said the US should have a “safe and effective” vaccine by the end of this year.

“I don’t think we will have vaccines so far ahead of us that we will have to rely on other countries for vaccine procurement,” he told U.S. lawmakers.
Many potential coronavirus vaccines are being developed worldwide and more than 20 are currently in clinical trials.

Mr Murashko, who was quoted by Interfax news agency, said the Gamaleya Institute, a research facility in Moscow, had completed clinical trials of a vaccine and that papers were being prepared for its registration.

“We are planning more comprehensive vaccinations for October,” he said, adding that teachers and doctors would be the first to receive the vaccine.

Last month Russian scientists said the first trials of an adenovirus-based vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute had been completed and the results were a success.

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