Russia to start vaccination of people against COVID-19 this year

Health

Mass vaccination of Russians against coronavirus may begin in the autumn of 2020, Director of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamalei Alexander Ginzburg said.

The process may take up to nine months. For the time being, the number of COVID-19 cases in Russia has exceeded 350,000, more than 3,600 people died.

"We hope that mass vaccination will begin in early autumn. Naturally, it will be impossible to provide the vaccine to each and every citizen. We assume that the process will take up to six months at the every best, or from seven to nine months," Ginzburg said. 

Medical specialists and those individuals, whose job stipulates contacts with many other people, such as cashiers, taxi drivers, ticket service providers, volunteers, etc, will be the first to receive the new vaccine.

Earlier, Alexander Ginzburg said that employees of the center tested the vaccine against coronavirus on themselves.

"All the scientists who participated in the development of this vaccine were vaccinated voluntarily, realizing its safety and responsibility that exists during the development of the drug - they could not afford self-isolation for themselves. Not only have we tested the antibodies, we have tested the availability of protective antibodies that neutralize the virus," the expert said.

Hundreds of laboratories around the world are engaged in the work to search for a vaccine against coronavirus. The World Health Organization said that it would be impossible to defeat the pandemic without creating the vaccine. Currently, nine research centers have begun clinical trials in the world. In Russia, clinical trials may begin in June.