Mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus in Russia may start already in autumn but this process may take as long as nine months, Director of Russia’s Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg said on Monday.
"We hope that mass vaccination will start in early autumn. But, naturally, the entire population won’t be able to get this vaccine instantly and we expect the vaccination campaign and its scale-up to take half a year, seven to nine months in the best-case scenario," the expert said in a live broadcast of the program "Living Healthy" on TV Channel One, TASS reports.
The head of the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology earlier said that the clinical trials of the vaccine against the coronavirus developed by the Institute’s specialists might begin in early June. According to him, medical workers directly dealing with the coronavirus infection and also organized work groups will be the first to be vaccinated.
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 5,513,300 people have been infected worldwide and more than 346,800 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,309,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 353,427 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 118,798 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 3,633 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.