MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. Vaccination against the novel coronavirus will be optional in Russia, but people show huge interest in the vaccine, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said in a televised interview on Rossiya’1 channel on Saturday.
"The vaccination will be optional, but we can see that the interest is very high among the population," he said.
Murashko recalled that clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology are drawing to a close, while the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology has been granted a Russian Health Ministry’s permit for clinical tests of its vaccine on volunteers.
"These two candidate vaccines are actually neck and neck so as to ensure our country’s safety," the minister added.
Intensive care units
As many as 3,100 patients are being treated in intensive care units (ICU) for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Russian Health Minister said.
"A total of 3,100 patients are in intensive care units today," he said.
To date, 806,720 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 597,140 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 13,192 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.