01:57 GMT14 August 2020
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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY (Sputnik) - The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology Vektor plans to begin production of a vaccine against the coronavirus in November, the center’s Director-General Rinat Maksyutov said.

    Speaking to Russian state broadcaster Rossiya 1, Maksyutov said that a phased transition from vaccinating special and at-risk groups to mass vaccination can be expected for late this year and early 2021.

    "We expect to launch production in November of this year. Therefore, closer to the end of the year and the beginning of the next, we can talk about the transition from vaccinating at-risk groups, at the very least, to mass vaccination,” Maksyutov said in a television address aired Sunday.

    A day prior, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that the government expects the first phase of vaccine production to begin in October and reiterated that vaccination will be free of charge in Russia.

    Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova earlier in the week said that two Russian-developed vaccine candidates are dashing for the finish line, one from the Gamaleya Research Institute and the other from Vektor.


    Russia, vaccine, COVID-19
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