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Russian vaccine likely weeks from release

By Ren Qi in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-14 09:26
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A medic at a hospital in Tver, Russia, is given the country's coronavirus vaccine on Monday. TATYANA MAKEYEVA/REUTERS

Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V could be launched in Russia by late October or early November as the country breaks the single-day record for new cases for the fifth-straight day on Tuesday.

According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, which is responsible for the joint research and production of the vaccine, 20 nations from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia have already requested doses of Russia's coronavirus vaccine.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of RDIF, said vaccine production will be primarily targeted at covering domestic demand in Russia.

Russian scientists said the vaccine is scientifically researched and the Russian health ministry's chief nonresident epidemiologist, Nikolay Briko, said the "vaccine wasn't developed from scratch".

Dmitriev said that despite some "regular groundless accusations against Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine" by some Western countries, Russia has gained lots of support from various countries.

The United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Health and Prevention has approved phase three clinical trials of the vaccine to take place in the UAE, Dmitriev said.

He said the vaccine could effectively help Russia fight the pandemic.

Record high

On Tuesday, the Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center confirmed 13,868 new coronavirus cases, setting a record for new infections since the start of the pandemic as authorities at the epicenter of the outbreak consider new restrictions to slow the spread of the disease.

Russia, which has 1,326,178 cases of infections, has seen its daily caseload double over the past month. According to the tally compiled by the national coronavirus information center, 22,966 Russians have died from COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

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