Addressing the Investment Forum of VTB Bank "Russia calls", Putin expressed his hope for the beginning of a mass vaccination campaign in his country as early as the end of this year. Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund has signed contracts with foreign pharmaceutical companies in order to produce the Russian vaccines.
Russia's Gamaleya Centre for Epidemiological Research and Microbiology developed the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine candidate which is currently in Phase III of clinical trials. This first vaccine candidate was registered on August 11th.
In addition, the last phase of clinical trials of the second COVID-19 candidate, EpiVacCorona, have just started. This vaccine candidate was presented by the Vektor State Research Centre for Virology and Biotechnology and was registered on October 14th.
Having reported over 1.5 million novel coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic, Russia ranks fourth in the world in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases after the U.S., India, and Brazil.
On Thursday, Russian Health authorities reported the highest ever COVID-19 figures, at 17,717 new cases and 366 related deaths.
The re-imposition of a nationwide lockdown has been ruled, as forecasts show a contraction of about 4 percent in the Russian economy for this year. Meanwhile, an aid package approved by the Federal government has been allocated to support Russian regions.