Russian Senior Citizens to Be Vaccinated after New Year’s

Senior citizens over 60 years old will be eligible to receive Russia Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus after New Year, Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya research center that developed the vaccine, said on Monday, adding that trials on this age group are close to completion.

Currently, the vaccine may only be administered to people between 18 and 60 years old, Sputnik reports.

“Trials on age groups of 60 and over are currently being completed, and right after New Year, the authorization to use it in [individuals] from 18 years old and without age restrictions will be officially included in the registration certificate of the Sputnik V vaccine,” Gintsburg said in a documentary devoted to the Russian vaccine posted on YouTube.

The 68-year-old scientist said that he was already vaccinated and noted that eight months after the inoculation, the number of antibodies was the same as after the vaccination.

In addition, Gintsburg suggested that the vaccine could be stored in a household refrigerator, that is, +2 – +4 degrees Celsius (+35.6 – +39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and remain fully active.

“I think that in two months … I hope we can make a change to the registration certificate that this vaccine can be stored not at -18 [degrees Celsius] but at the temperature of a household refrigerator,” Gintsburg added.

Throughout clinical trials, Sputnik V — the first-ever COVID-19 vaccine registered in the world — has shown to be more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 after three control points. Earlier in the day, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that the vaccine was effective against the new strain of the coronavirus, which was recently discovered in the United Kingdom.