Moscow commenced distributing the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine through 70 clinics on Saturday to the most susceptible groups, marking Russia's first large-scale inoculation against the respiratory illness.

High-Risk Groups to Be Administered COVID-19 Vaccine First

The Russian-made vaccine would be first accessible to doctors and other healthcare workers, social workers, and teachers because they run the highest risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Russia is the first nation in the world to begin a mass coronavirus vaccination drive. It began disseminating its coronavirus vaccine on Saturday. Moscow is the focal point for people to participate in the first mass immunization against the virus, reported DW.

The Sputnik V dose works in a similar manner to the vaccine candidate being developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca team in the United Kingdom, using other viruses to supply molecules from the virus into human bodies in an aim to stimulate an immune response.

"You are working at an educational institution and have top-priority for the Covid-19 vaccine, free of charge," according to a phone text message received by one Muscovite, an elementary school teacher, reported Live Mint.

Moscow is the epicenter of Russia's COVID-19 pandemic, recording 7,993 new cases overnight from 6,868 daily prior to and beyond the daily tallies of an estimated 700 witnessed in the initial days of September.

According to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, "Over the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the jab - teachers, doctors, social workers, those who are today risking their health and lives the most," reported News Filter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a voluntary vaccination program across the country to commence next week. He stated Russia would have manufactured 2 million vaccine doses within the next couple of days.

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According to the leader of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, in an interview with the BBC on Friday, Russia anticipates providing the COVID-19 vaccine to an estimated 2 million people this December.

The age for those to be administered the vaccine has been capped at 60. Individuals with certain preexisting health conditions, those who have had a respiratory illness in the past two weeks, and pregnant women have been excluded from immunization.

Mayor Sobyanin, on his personal website on Friday prior to the vaccination drive kickoff, stated that over the initial five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the shot.

According to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko earlier this week, amid a separate presentation to the United Nations regarding Sputnik V, Russia has already inoculated over 100,000 most susceptible people.

Among the first people signing up to the Moscow dissemination, Nadezhda Ragulina, an administrator at a Moscow clinic, remarked she wanted the jab as she had seen numerous COVID-19 patients.

According to her on the Rossiya-24 state TV channel, "This is my decision... Some people close to me also have had an experience (of COVID-19). That's why I want to protect myself, my relatives, to obtain the immunity."

Russia has created two vaccines, Sputnik V, which is backed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and another one created by Siberia's Vector Institute. Final clinical trials for the pair are yet to be concluded.

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