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More than 800,000 people in Russia receive COVID-19 vaccine

A Russian Army service member receives an injection with Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a clinic in the city of Rostov-On-Don, Russia December 22, 2020. — Reuters/File

  • Russia has dispatched more than 1.5 million vaccine doses
  • From Jan 1, people who are inoculated will get an electronic vaccination certificate
  • Russia reported 26,301 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours

MOSCOW: Russia has inoculated more than 800,000 people so far against the new coronavirus and more than 1.5 million vaccine doses have been dispatched, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Saturday.

Russia, which began rolling out its Sputnik V vaccine in early December, has the world’s fourth higher number of COVID-19 cases and is putting high hopes on several vaccines it plans to produce.

From January 1, people who are inoculated in Russia will get an electronic vaccination certificate, the TASS news agency quoted Murashko as saying. The ministry is keeping a database of Russians who have been vaccinated, TASS reported.

The Sputnik V vaccine, which Russia already started supplying to other countries, is administered in two doses, which use different components, 21 days apart.

Russia sent 300,000 doses of the vaccine to Argentina last week, causing frustration at home, with some people arguing that more shots should be made available at home.

Read more: ‘Volunteers who got placebo will be given coronavirus vaccine’

On Saturday, Russia reported 26,301 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total caseload to 3,212,637.

Authorities said 447 people had died in the past 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 58,002.

Earlier in the day, India approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, paving the way for a huge immunisation campaign in the world’s second most populous country.

Read more: China approves its first coronavirus vaccine

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters the vaccine had been given the green light on Friday, confirming what sources close to the matter had told Reuters.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use by India, which has the highest number of infections after the United States, and comes on the day the country is running a nationwide mock drill for vaccine delivery.