By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government on Wednesday to start mass vaccinations against the novel coronavirus in the country at the end of next week.
Doctors and teachers will be immunized first, Putin said at a cabinet meeting in Moscow.
"Let's start a large-scale vaccination. Let's start doing this work," he said.
In turn, Vice Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said production capacity was enough to cover demand and that vaccinations would be free of charge and voluntarily.
Russia became the first country in the world to register for public use a coronavirus vaccine. Later named the Sputnik V, the vaccine was called Gam-COVID-Vac (Gamaleya COVID Vaccine) by developers.
Shortly after the Sputnik V's registration, authorities granted permission for mass use of another vaccine, developed by the Novosibirsk-based Vector Institute of Virology and Biotechnology.
Both vaccines are to be administered through two injections. They are currently authorized for people aged between 18 and 60, and can be combined with other antigens, including those against the flu.