High-risk groups that include doctors, especially those who deal with infected patients, and also elderly people should receive the COVID-19 vaccine first, Director of Russia’s Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg told TASS on Friday.
"I would start [inoculations] with the most vulnerable groups and in our country these are doctors who are dealing with patients in hospitals, beginning from Kommunarka, the 52nd hospital and the Sklifosovsky clinic [all of them based in Moscow]. And across the country: we can see a lot of infected doctors in Dagestan and in North Ossetia. I would start with the doctors’ community and then with the elderly," he said.
It is also necessary to vaccinate people in organized work groups because the virus is transmitted upon close contacts, Gintsburg added. That is why, vaccinations must be carried out "at construction sites and in all organized work groups where a large number of people have to gather simultaneously."
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.