President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian authorities on Wednesday to begin mass voluntary vaccinations against COVID-19 next week as Russia recorded 589 new daily deaths from the coronavirus.
Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.
Russia will have produced 2 million vaccine doses within the next few days, Putin said. Russia said last month that its Sputnik V jab was 92 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim results.
“Let's agree on this - you will not report to me next week, but you will start mass vaccination...let's get to work already,” Putin told Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.
Golikova said large-scale vaccination could begin on a voluntary basis in December.
The rise in infections has slowed since reaching a high on November 27, with 25,345 new cases reported on Wednesday. Russia has resisted imposing lockdowns during the second wave of the virus preferring targeted regional curbs.