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Putin calls for ‘mass vaccination’ of Russian population against COVID-19 starting next week

Source: Rossiya 24

Russia needs to move “from large-scale to mass vaccination” of the entire population against the coronavirus, said President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with members of the government on Wednesday, January 13. Citing a government report, Putin noted that production of the vaccine has already exceeded its planning target.

We need to move from large-scale to mass vaccination. Please keep this in mind and prepare the appropriate infrastructure. Thank God, our vaccine doesn’t require any unusual conditions during transportation. Everything works much more easily and more effectively here. Therefore, I ask you to start mass vaccination of the entire population as of next week and to build a corresponding schedule for this work.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that mass vaccination will begin as of January 18. According to her, 2.1 million doses of the vaccine will go into civilian circulation by the end of January.

Russia began its vaccination campaign in Moscow on December 5, making its first vaccine against the coronavirus, Sputnik V, available to high-risk groups (namely, teachers, doctors, and social workers). The list of citizens eligible for free immunization in Moscow was later expanded several times. However, as Meduza previously reported, officials have been administering the vaccine to virtually anyone who wants it, regardless of the restrictions.

The federal headquarters for combating the coronavirus has yet to provide data on the number of people vaccinated in Russia. In early January, the Health Ministry reported that a total of 800,000 Russians had been immunized against COVID-19. On January 11, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which oversaw Sputnik V’s development, reported that more than 1.5 million people have already received this vaccine.

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