Russia announced Monday that 1.5 million people around the world had received its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine as part of an initiative Kremlin critics have described as a geopolitical push.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has financed the development of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, confirmed the figure to AFP without offering a breakdown of where the jab was distributed.
An adviser to Russia’s health minister said over the weekend that consultations with the World Health Organisation for the use of Sputnik in emergency situations would begin January 20.
The designation would allow Sputnik V to be distributed as part of the WHO’s emergency rollout to countries struggling to source vaccines independently.
Russia has over recent months been battered by a second wave of the coronavirus but the Kremlin has held back on introducing sweeping restrictive measures like in the beginning of the pandemic.
Russian officials say however that new daily cases have been decreasing in recent days, dropping closer to 20,000.