MOSCOW, January 12./TASS/. The prime and backup crew members from Expedition 65 to the International Space Station have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the press service of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center told TASS on Tuesday.
They "received the first dose," the press service said, specifying that cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov, Anton Shkaplerov and Dmitry Petelin were vaccinated. "The second phase of the vaccination is scheduled for Friday, January 15," it specified. Oleg Artemyev, who is part of the backup crew, has already received both doses. "Two cosmonauts have received the full package of two jabs - Oleg Artemyev and Nikolai Chub," the press service said. They received the second doze of the vaccine on January 8, it specified.
In early December, the Russian Federal Medical Biological Agency informed TASS that a unit of cosmonauts and a number of Cosmonaut Training Center employees who come in direct contact with them during training would be vaccinated against COVID-19. The cosmonauts and the center staff will receive the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Vaccination began at Star City in December. The first ones to be inoculated were cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Nikolai Chub, as well as several employees working with the crews.
Russia registered the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world under the name of Sputnik V on August 11. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology. Post-registration testing of the vaccine began in Moscow on September 7, with first volunteers getting the first vaccine shot on September 9. Overall, the trials include 40,000 people, 10,000 of whom are to get a placebo dose instead of the vaccine.
In early November, Russia’s inter-agency commission approved the crew of the 65th long-term expedition that will blast off aboard a Soyuz MS-18 crewed spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport to the International Space Station in April 2021.