Mass vaccination in Russia against COVID-19 will begin in a month, said the director of the Gamaleya Center for Microbiology and Epidemiology, Alexandr Ginzburg, who developed the first vaccine registered in the country against the disease, Spútnik V.
The scientist, in statements to the official Russian agency RIA Nóvosti, indicated that in the next seven or ten days the studies after the registration of the preparation by the Russian Ministry of Health will begin, in which tens of thousands of people will be vaccinated.
"Apparently, the Moscow Department of Health plans to include in these tens of thousands of people doctors who work in the 'red zone' (where they treat seriously ill patients with COVID-19). And this is completely correct." he added.
Guinzburg pointed out that the studies will last between four and six months, but that this will not be an obstacle to starting mass vaccination of the population, which, as the country's authorities have declared, will be voluntary.
"The mass vaccination will begin with some delay due to which most of the vaccines already produced will be used in the studies. Then, the rest will go to citizens. The delay can be two or three weeks, perhaps a month" he explained.
The World Health Organization (WHO) cautiously received the news that Russia had registered the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, noting that it, like the rest, must follow the prequalification and review procedures established by the agency .
The Russian vaccine was not among the six that the WHO noted last week were most advanced.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Russia "has skipped certain trials" when developing the vaccine, and assured that his country will not do the same.
The director of the US National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, even compared to a "Russian roulette" the decision of the vaccine developers in Russia to skip what he described as "fundamental parts" of the approval process.
To date, Russia accumulates 922,853 cases of COVID-19 and 15,685 deaths from the disease.