So far, only 6,000 participants have received both doses of the Russian vaccine against Covid-19, which are necessary to complete the vaccination, according to the drug’s developers.

To date, 17,000 people have received the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute that developed the vaccine, told CNN in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

“So far, no side effects other than those listed in the instructions have been registered that are characteristic of a vaccine included in national vaccination protocols,” said Gintsburg.

For comparison: By October 6, the vaccine cooperation between BioNTech and the US drug manufacturer Pfizer had included around 37,000 participants for their vaccine candidate in the phase 3 study. More than 28,000 participants in this study received their second dose.

Russia approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use ahead of key Phase 3 trials. Moscow claimed it was the first certified coronavirus vaccine, although it was only tested on several dozen people.

So far, around 40,000 doses of Sputnik V have been released to the general population – mostly doctors, Covid-19 patients and teachers – under a decree approving emergency use, Gintsburg said.

Gintsburg said his institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which sponsored the vaccine, plan to ramp up production of Sputnik V at private sector locations over the next month with a goal of producing 5 million vaccines per month by next year .

“At this rate, 70% of our population can be vaccinated with this vaccine within nine, ten to a maximum of twelve months. This is sufficient for this disease to be controlled by the vaccine,” said Gintsburg.

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