MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. The vaccination of the entire population against the novel coronavirus may take as long as six months, Director of Russia’s Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg told TASS on Friday.
"All the same, it is impossible to vaccinate the whole country in a go and that is why this process will take certain time: perhaps, half a year or maybe it will be possible to organize all this quicker," he said.
The work at the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology to develop the vaccine against COVID-19 is proceeding as planned and presumably it will be registered by the end of summer, Gintsburg said.
However, the preparation will initially be available in smaller amounts than is required for immunizing the larger part of the population, he said.
"That is why, the Health Ministry, and not only the Health Ministry but also the bank as a financial source required for this work, are now taking very big efforts to scale up our technology of producing this vaccine on other sites as well," he explained.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,198,300 people have been infected worldwide and more than 334,600 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,000,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 326,448 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 99,825 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 3,249 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.