Russia is in negotiations with developers of foreign Covid-19 vaccines, a government epidemiologist has revealed, noting that the country is analyzing “all data available” to determine the safety and effectiveness of the jabs.
As things stand, just Russian-made vaccines are currently available, including the popular Sputnik V.
Speaking on Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, Tatyana Ruzhentsova revealed that Russians may soon be able to choose to be inoculated with jabs produced abroad. Ruzhentsova is deputy director for clinical work at the Gabrichevsky Moscow Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, run by the government health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor.
“Negotiations are going on right now,” Ruzhentsova explained. “We hope that, after some time, our citizens will be able to choose imported vaccines in our country.”
“The thing is, during registration of medicines, several documents have to be created and approved. This, in my opinion, is justified,” she continued.
As things stand, just 40 million people in Russia have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, less than a third of the country. This figure is fewer than the number of people jabbed in the UK, despite having more than double the population. Russia expects to have fully vaccinated 90 million by November.
The need to rush to herd immunity has been highlighted in the last few weeks, with Covid-19 deaths spiking. On Friday, the country recorded 828 deaths – the highest figure seen since the pandemic started.
However, despite her support for Russian people’s right to choose which injection they receive, Ruzhentsova warned against the growing trend of “vaccination tours” abroad to receive foreign jabs.