Russia is holding discussions with the UN about possible supplies of Russian vaccine against the coronavirus to its staff, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said in an interview with TASS.
The envoy reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address at the General Assembly proposed to supply the Russian vaccine for the voluntary inoculation of the UN staff. "Now we are discussing with the UN Secretariat the possible parameters of such event," he said.
"At the same time, Russia’s Health Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund are working on introducing our foreign and international partners to this domestic advanced development, including the World Health Organization (WHO). With the WHO, the issue of the so-called pre-qualification of our vaccine is also being worked on," the diplomat added.
The envoy said that the UN Secretariat "is expressing interest" that staff members working in Eastern Europe and Central Asia "could in general count on treatment in Russia." This implies some kind of reserve mechanism in case the UN staff members won’t be able to receive immediate medical aid at their place of service, he explained.
"This interest indicates high marks to the level of our healthcare," the diplomat stressed. According to him, this issue is being actively discussed, the "interagency coordination of practical modalities of healthcare" for the UN staff in Russian territory is underway.
On August 11, Russia became the first worldwide to register the vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. The preparation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry and passed clinical trials in June - July. It is based on a known platform previously used for other vaccines. The Healthcare Ministry noted that the experience of use of similar preparations shows that they are capable of providing a lengthy immunity of up to two years.