Russia Ready to Work on Initiative for Global COVID-19 Vaccination

Russia is ready to cooperate on creation and implementation of a global COVID-19 immunization plan as proposed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday, Sputnik News reports.

According to the spokesperson, during the UN Security Council meeting on February 17, the secretary general proposed to create a special working group within the G20 framework to prepare and implement a global-scale vaccination initiative against the coronavirus disease. The initiative is aimed at providing all countries with equal access to coronavirus vaccines.

“We are ready for in-depth work on the UN secretary general’s initiative within the G20 and expect to receive concrete proposals on that plan,” Zakharova said at a briefing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia has led the world in the race to develop a vaccine, creating three different jabs: Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, EpiVacCorona by the Siberian research centre Vector, and the Chumakov Research Institute’s CoviVac.

In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from Phase 3 clinical trial of Sputnik V, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The vaccine has already been approved in more than 35 countries, including Belarus, Serbia, Hungary, San Marino, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Algeria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, among others.