Moscow rolls out Sputnik V Covid shot to most exposed

Moscow rolls out Sputnik V Covid shot to most exposed

MOSCOW: Moscow began distributing the Sputnik V Covid-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday to the most exposed groups, marking Russia’s first large-scale vaccination against the disease, the city’s coronavirus task force said. The Russian-made vaccine will first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers and social workers because they run the highest risk of exposure to the disease.
“You are working at an educational institution and have top-priority for the Covid-19 vaccine, free of charge,” read a phone text message received by one Muscovite, an elementary school teacher, early on Saturday.
The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, said in an interview with the BBC on Friday that Russia expects to give the vaccine to about 2 million people this month. “Over the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the jab — teachers, doctors, social workers, those who are today risking their health and lives the most,” mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his personal website on Friday. Russia has already vaccinated more than 1,00,000 high-risk people, health minister Mikhail Murashko said earlier this week during a separate presentation to the UN about Sputnik V.
Moscow, a city of around 13 million people, has been the epicentre of Russia’s outbreak. It reported 7,993 new cases on Saturday, up from 6,868 the day before. The age for those receiving shots is capped at 60. People with certain underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those who have had a respiratory illness for the past two weeks are barred from vaccination.
Scientists have raised concerns about the speed at which Russia has worked, giving the regulatory go-ahead for its vaccines and launching mass vaccinations before full trialshad been completed. The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two injections, with the second dose is expected to be given 21 days after the first.
Deputy PM Tatiana Golikova said on Friday that the vaccinated should avoid public places and reduce their intake of medicine and alcohol, which could suppress the immune system, within the first 42 days after the first jab.

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