Russia to vaccinate teachers and doctors this week as it rolls out Covid-19 jab

Russia will start vaccinating doctors and teachers this week as it rolls out the first coronavirus jab.

The first batch has been released and supplies are due to be sent out for civilian use.

Key military personnel are also expected to be vaccinated along with top officials.

Reports say they aim to vaccinate a majority of people in capital city Moscow within several months.

One of President Vladimir Putin’s two daughters has been vaccinated, believed to be Katerina Tikhonova, 33, as has Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin.

The supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will coincide with crucial Phase III tests among volunteers – not yet undertaken despite the drug being registered for use in a blaze of publicity led by Mr Putin.



“The first batch of the vaccine for preventing the novel coronavirus infection was produced for civilian circulation,” said the Russian health ministry.

“In the near future the supplies of the first batches of the vaccine to the regions are expected.”

The first Russian vaccine – officially named Gam-COVID-Vac but known as Sputnik V was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

It passed the required quality tests in the laboratories of Roszdravnadzor, the Russian health watchdog, according to the government.



Health minister Mikhail Murashko said priority among civilians would go to teachers and doctors – identified as key workers – while post-registration clinical trials with volunteers would be undertaken simultaneously.

Some 40,000 people will undergo Phase III tests, with a quarter being injected with a placebo – a fake treatment to make volunteers think they are being given the vaccine.

The Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has said key military groups like submariners and strategic rocket forces in charge of the Kremlin’s nuclear arsenal are to undergo compulsory coronavirus vaccinations.

“We have those who should be on duty virtually round the clock – like the strategic rocket forces,” said Shoigu.



Crew of submarine fleets on long missions would also be vaccinated as a priority, he said.

“If a crew got sick, should we return them?

“They leave for a long time, as you know, so this is serious.”

A second Russian vaccine named EpiVacCorona is from a former top-secret Soviet biological weapons research plant and is a “great drug” according to Putin.

It is expected to be in mass production in the autumn after registration in October.

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