MOSCOW, Dec 2 (Reuters) - 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.
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% 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 Nov. 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.
Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, Elena Fabrichnaya and Dmitry Antonov, additional reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Angus MacSwan
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