Moscow – Russia will begin large-scale provision of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in September, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Monday.
“The vaccine will be supplied first and foremost to health care workers and teachers,” Murashko said.
The vaccination “will be absolutely voluntary,” Murashko said.
Russia was the first country to introduce a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that it said could be used by the general public.
The minister said about 40,000 volunteers were in the phase three trial of the vaccine.
The vaccine was developed by a state laboratory and initially tested on the laboratory’s workers and later volunteer soldiers.
No substantial side effects have been reported.
The vaccine has been named Sputnik, made by the Soviet Union and the first man-made satellite to achieve orbit.
Endorsing the vaccine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of his daughters had used it successfully without any side effect worse than a slight, temporary fever.
Russia has recorded nearly one million cases of the novel coronavirus, the world’s fourth largest caseload.