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Foreign criticism of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine groundless, health minister says

Russia on August 11 was the first to have registered its coronavirus vaccine

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Foreign specialists’ criticism of the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus is groundless and should be attributed to competition, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told a news briefing on Wednesday.

"Some foreign colleagues, who must have felt certain competition and competitive edges of Russia’s product, have been trying to express opinions that we find totally groundless," he said.

Russia on August 11 was the first to have registered its coronavirus vaccine, called Sputnik V, created at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry. The vaccine underwent clinical tests in June and July. It is based on an already available platform, already used for making a number of other vaccines. The Health Ministry said the experience of using such vaccines indicates they are capable of helping the human body develop lasting immunity for up to two years. The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, has said Russia has already received requests from 20 countries for 1 billion doses of the vaccine.

According to the latest statistics, about 20.3 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 741,000 deaths have been reported.

To date, 902,701 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 710,298 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 15,260 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.