Coronavirus vaccine
Within two weeks, the first batch of the vaccine will be released.

The first batch of the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus pandemic is expected to be released within two weeks, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday, August 12.

Mikhail Murashko said that vaccination against Covid-19 will be voluntary for everybody, including healthcare workers. Russia is developing a special tracing app that will allow Russian citizens to confirm the state of their health. The app will also monitor the possible adverse effects of the drug for those who took the vaccine.

On Tuesday, the Russian Health Ministry registered the first coronavirus vaccine in the world. The vaccine, named Sputnik V, was developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defense Ministry.

"Within two weeks, the first batch of the vaccine will be released," Murashko said at a press conference.

"The vaccination will be voluntary anyway. Some of those doctors who already have immunity against the coronavirus, there are around 20 per cent, ... think they do not need vaccination, it will be up to them to decide," Murashko assured.

President Putin said it's completely safe

President Vladimir Putin and other officials have said it is completely safe. The president said one of his daughters had taken it as a volunteer and felt good afterwards. "I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the necessary checks," Putin told a government meeting.

While covering Russians' needs is a priority, the vaccine could also be exported abroad, the health minister added.

"The vaccine certainly has some export potential, and we will certainly offer it [to foreign countries], but the domestic market needs are our priority," Murashko said.

Russia names new Covid vaccine 'Sputnik V'

Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' for foreign markets, a reference to the world's first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday.

(With agency inputs)