RUSSIA: Putin says vaccines are safe and will be applied by the end of the year
MOSCOW.- Russian President Vladimir Putin assured this Thursday that the two Russian vaccines against covid-19, Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona, are ‘safe and effective’, while expressing his desire that the mass vaccination of the Russian population may start already at the end of the year.
‘These (Russian vaccines) are good products. The most important thing is that they are safe and effective. Both requirements are met, ” Putin said in the investment forum of the VTB bank “Russia calls.”
The Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Center for Epidemiological Research and Microbiology, was registered on August 11 in Russia and is in phase III of clinical trials.
The EpiVacCorona, from the Véktor State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology, was registered on the 14th and has just started its production and the last phase of the tests began in the middle of the month.
The first vaccine has been delivered to all regions already, Putin said. “I hope we can start mass vaccination by the end of the year,” he said.
The president admitted however that the lack of equipment is hampering the mass production of Russian vaccines.
‘There is a task now: to guarantee the necessary scope of production. There are certain problems related to the availability or absence of the necessary equipment (…) to start mass manufacturing, ” he said.
Putin argued that Russia is prepared to cooperate with foreign partners in the production of Russian vaccines, but not at the cost of being unable to supply its own citizens.
“First of all, we should ensure the vaccination of Russian citizens, our people, and protect their health from this dangerous infection,” he stressed.
“Secondly, we will be delighted to work in foreign markets, we are already doing so,” he added, referring to the fact that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (FIDR) has already closed contracts with pharmaceutical companies in other countries to test and, in the future possibly produce, the Sputnik V.
“We are ready to sell the intellectual property and, more importantly, to agree to produce this vaccine or these vaccines at the manufacturing sites of our foreign partners that have the necessary equipment,” he said.
With 1,581,693 accumulated cases, Russia is today the fourth country in the world in the number of positives for coronavirus after the United States, India and Brazil.
Russia today registered a new record of daily infections and deaths from covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 17,717 new cases in the last 24 hours and 366 deaths.
Despite this, Putin reiterated today that there are no plans for a new confinement of the population and closure of the economy.
“We have a clear idea of the course we have to follow and for this reason we are not planning any major restrictive measures, a closure of the country, which would probably cause the almost total closure of the economy and business activity,” said the president.
The president reiterated that the total amount of federal support for companies and the population will be 4.5% of GDP and that the Russian economy will contract by approximately 4% this year, which is less than in other countries, he stressed.
He also announced that the postponement of the payment of taxes for certain SMEs will be extended in another three months to continue supporting them in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.