05:28 GMT30 October 2020
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    Earlier during his virtual message at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the UN to provide it with Russian-made anti-coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, free of charge.

    The UN thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for offering free Sputnik V vaccine to the UN staffers and said that medical services will examine his proposition,  according to the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

    "We thank President Putin for his generous offer, which will be examined by our medical services", he said.

    Earlier in the day, Putin offered the UN staffers to provide them with Sputnik V - the first anti-coronavirus vaccine in the world made in Russia - free of charge.

    "The coronavirus has struck the staff of the United Nations, its headquarters and regional structures just like everyone else. Russia is ready to provide the UN with all the necessary qualified assistance; in particular, we are offering to provide our vaccine, free of charge, for the voluntary vaccination of the staff of the UN and its offices. We have received requests from our UN colleagues in this respect, and we will respond to those," he said.

    Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), was registered in August. Since then, at least 20 countries, including the UAE, Brazil, Mexico and many others, had expressed interest in obtaining the vaccine.

    Regional Director for Europe at the WHO Hans Kluge thanked Russia for the efforts in making the "safe and effective" anti-coronavirus vaccine. Mass production of Sputnik V is expected to start in September 2020.

    The second Russian-made vaccine, developed by Vector Centre and dubbed EpiVacCorona, is scheduled to be registered by 15 October. After the registration is complete, it will undergo clinical trials with 5,000 volunteers, particularly those with chronic conditions and those aged 60 and older.

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    COVID-19, UN, vaccine, Sputnik V, Putin
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