Coronavirus: Russia launches online registration for COVID-19 vaccination

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Moscow launched an online service on Friday for people to book appointments to be vaccinated against COVID-19, two days after President Vladimir Putin called for large-scale vaccinations.

Sputnik V, one of two Russian-made vaccines to have received regulatory approval in Russia despite clinical trials being incomplete, requires two injections. Interim trials showed it is 92 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19.

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Ten vaccines are being developed in Russia, TASS news agency cited Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, as saying on Thursday.

Residents of Moscow can register for free vaccination at 70 points around the city, with appointments starting from Saturday, the mayor’s website said.

Appointments are initially available for social workers, doctors and teachers aged between 18 and 60, in both state and private institutions. Any Moscow resident with an online account can book an appointment, but the website said people must show proof of occupation.

“For other Moscow residents, free vaccination will become available later,” the website said.

Britain has approved for use a different COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, which it plans to roll out from early next week.

Russia reported 27,403 new coronavirus cases on Friday, dropping back from the record high hit on Thursday.

More than 20,000 people in Moscow had received the Sputnik V injection, of whom 273 had fallen ill with COVID-19, Moscow Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

She said the defense ministry was due this month to receive 100,000 doses of the vaccine, enough for 50,000 military personnel.

Russia has resisted imposing lockdowns during the second wave of the virus, preferring targeted regional curbs.

With 2,402,949 infections, Russia only fewer COVID-19 cases only than the US, India and Brazil. It has recorded 42,176 deaths related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

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