Moscow Aims to Vaccinate Seven Million as Russia Reports Record Rise in COVID Cases

MOSCOW (Reuters) -
A view shows vials during the production of Gam-COVID-Vac, also known as Sputnik-V, vaccine against the coronavirus disease at a facility in Saint Petersburg, Russia, December 4. (REUTERS/Anton Vaganov)

Moscow wants to vaccinate up to seven million people, its Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said, as Russia on Sunday reported yet another record high number of new COVID-19 cases.

Moscow began distributing its Sputnik-V COVID-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday to the most exposed groups, marking Russia’s first large-scale vaccination against the disease.

“In prospect, we have to vaccinate six to seven million people,” Sobyanin told state Rossiya-1 news channel in an interview published on Sunday.

Russia reported a record daily increase of 29,039 new cases, taking the national total to 2,460,770 since the pandemic began, while the official national death toll rose to 43,141.

Russia, which has the world’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus cases, puts high hopes on its vaccines but some scientists have raised concerns about the speed at which it gave the regulatory go-ahead and launched mass inoculations.