06:59 GMT05 December 2020
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    Russia Introduces First Coronavirus Vaccine (86)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kremlin cannot assess the efficiency of Russian vaccines against the coronavirus but trusts expert conclusions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, pointing to President Vladimir Putin's appreciation of the registered vaccines.

    "The Kremlin cannot make any assessment about the efficiency of the vaccine, but we have 100 percent trust in the conclusions of our virology experts and experts from the Gamaleya research institute who published the results of their studies [confirming over 90% efficiency of Sputnik V vaccine] mere days ago," Peskov said in an interview with RT Russia.

    Putin highly appreciates both Sputnik V, which is Russia's first registered COVID-19 vaccine, and the vaccine developed by the Vector research centre, the Kremlin spokesman added.

    "He has great expectations regarding the third vaccine. The president will certainly make an announcement when he gets vaccinated," Peskov assured.

    According to the Kremlin spokesman, Russia will start COVID-19 vaccine production in several weeks or even days, with mass immunization expected to start in the coming months.

    "Production is already starting now, it is a matter of days and weeks. And the volume of production is another question. Capacities, of course, will increase," the spokesman said, adding that the pharma industry in Russia has rapidly developed over the past 15 years and is able to boost production.
    Sputnik V Vaccine
    © Sputnik / Georgy Zimarev
    Sputnik V Vaccine

    At the same time, Peskov said that Russia would prioritize supplying its own population with vaccines against COVID-19 first, and then would focus on satisfying the needs of partner countries.

    Peskov also refuted reports that Putin’s daughter, who got vaccinated back in August, had a role to play in the creation of Sputnik V.

    "Surely, no," the spokesman said when asked if Gamaleya’s vaccine "somehow appeared" thanks to the president’s daughter.

    Peskov added that Putin’s daughter herself volunteered to take part in phase two clinical trials of the vaccine.

    Russia Introduces First Coronavirus Vaccine (86)
    The Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, COVID-19, vaccine, Russia
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