MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Nearly 700,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine have entered civilian circulation in Russia, head of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg said on Monday.
"Right now, there are about 700,000 vaccine doses in civilian circulation," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Gintsburg recalled that the Sputnik V vaccine was proven to be safe and effective on the outcomes of clinical trials. "30,000 volunteers in Moscow that received the vaccine are fully protected from serious and moderate cases of the disease caused by this virus unlike those who got the placebo dose," he said, adding that nearly 92% of those vaccinated do not get infected with the virus.
He stressed that the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine can be compared to many international COVID-19 vaccines, surpassing them in some ways.
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 should have included 40,000 people, with 10,000 receiving a placebo dose instead of the vaccine. However, the Russian Health Ministry decided to stop vaccinating volunteers after some 31,000 people had taken part in the trials.