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Russia won’t be able to speed up mass coronavirus vaccination — expert

The third phase of trials is to be complete in late October, the researcher recalled

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. The vaccination of Russian citizens against coronavirus is impossible to accelerate which is directly affected by the vaccine production scale and the need to test that it is safe to use, Fyodor Lisitsyn, leading researcher of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, said Monday.

"The timelines of the vaccine development and trials, including the third phase, were known. The third phase should be generally completed in late October. The timeline of the vaccine production [Moscow alone needs a few million doses] was also known. Even at the most accelerated pace, it was just impossible to do it faster. The production is a highly responsible thing which requires supervision, checks and rechecks. Hastiness will only do harm. We have made every effort to speed it up as much as possible, the rest is as it goes. We need to hold out until mass vaccination," he added.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed 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, around 40 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 1,110,000 deaths have been reported. To date, 1,415,316 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,075,904 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 24,366 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.