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About 32 mln sets of coronavirus vaccines go into circulation in Russia in 2021 — ministry

New production sites are joining in the production of each of the Russian vaccines, the Industry and Trade Ministry noted

MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. Russia has put into circulation about 32 million sets of coronavirus vaccines since the beginning of the year, and new sites are joining in the production effort to ensure vaccination, the Industry and Trade Ministry told TASS.

"Since the beginning of the year, more than 30 million sets of Sputnik V, nearly 1.5 million [sets] of EpiVacCorona and 352,000 [sets] of CoviVac, which was registered later than the first two vaccines, have been put into circulation," the ministry said noting that the difference in the vaccines’ availability was caused by different timeframes of their authorization.

"New production sites are joining in the production of each of the vaccines to ensure vaccination of the population. For example, plans for the production of the EpiVacCorona vaccine by Geropharm are being drawn up now, and Nanolek has actively joined the work on CoviVac," the ministry noted.

Nanolek has plans to start production of the CoviVac vaccine not earlier than August, Maksim Stetsyuk, the company’s deputy head, told TASS earlier.

"All the four national vaccines are produced rhythmically in line with the plans drawn up together with the manufacturers. The difference in their time availability is caused by different times of their registration, namely August 2020 (Sputnik V), October 2020 (EpiVacCorona), February 2021 (CoviVac) and May 2021 (Sputnik Light)," the Industry and Trade Ministry said.

The press service explained that from the stage of authorization to large-scale production, each vaccine had to undergo a series of steps related to the scaling up of technology and quality control of the vaccines.

"It is also worth noting that Biocad did collaborate with Vector on a project concerning a vaccine, only with completely different technology, not related to the EpiVacCorona vaccine. However, the production of registered vaccines by both project participants is prioritized now," the ministry said.

Explosive growth in demand

Earlier, Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, said that the demand for vaccination is growing five to ten times in the regions. These rates will soon make it possible to achieve herd immunity in adults, she believes.

On Friday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Russia has a stockpile of coronavirus vaccines, but their timely deliveries to all the regions should be monitored closely.