The first batch of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V has entered “civil circulation”, reports from state media claimed on Thursday. The first potential vaccine in the world is now available to public in the capital city of Moscow.
Although the reports have not yet been confirmed by authorities, Russia has repeatedly stressed on the development and distribution of the vaccine at the earliest.
Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and registered on August 11.
Notably, Russian President Vladamir Putin has offered to provide the vaccine to United Nations staff for free.
“Russia is ready to offer UN workers the necessary, qualified help, and in particular we propose to supply our vaccine for free to employees of the organisation and its subsidiaries who volunteer for vaccination,” said Putin during his speech at this year’s UN General Assembly meeting.
The announcement came as only results from small early studies on Sputnik V vaccine have been published, raising concerns among some scientists that the vaccine isn’t ready yet for widespread use. This prompted worldwide memes about bizarre side effects of the vaccine candidate.
Russia also announced that it will supply India with 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine via pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories as soon as it receives regulatory approval.
Trials for the same could begin in India in the next few weeks and Dr Reddy’s is set to enroll at least 1,000 to 1,200 participants at multiple governments and private hospitals across the country.