Belarus Starts Vaccinating Citizens Against COVID-19 With Russia's Sputnik V - RDIF

Sputnik, 29.12.2020

MOSCOW, December 29 (Sputnik) - Belarus has become the first country in the world, apart from Russia, to start vaccinating its population against COVID-19 with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Tuesday.

"The health ministry of the Republic of Belarus and RDIF announce that Belarus has started vaccinating its population with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus. Today, the first batch of the vaccine arrived in Belarus," RDIF said in a press release.

On December 21, Belarus became the first foreign nation to officially register Sputnik V, RDIF recalled, also noting that the effort to launch vaccine production in Belarus continues.

"Immunization remains a key instrument in the fight against the epidemic process. Today, Belarus enters a new stage, as its starts mass vaccination against COVID-19. Medical staffers, teachers and citizens who have many contacts with people at work will be the first to receive the vaccine. Vaccination will be exclusively voluntary," Belarusian Minister of Health Dmitry Pinevich noted, as quoted in the press release.

Pinevich also said that Belarus had created a proper storage system and had purchased special freezing equipment for vaccine transportation. The minister thanked Russia for its active cooperation.

Russia's health minister, Mikhail Murashko, praised the efficient operation of Belarusian regulatory agencies, which made it possible to quickly grant the Belarusian people access to the Russian vaccine.

RDIFCEO Kirill Dmitriev expressed confidence that the launch of vaccine production in Belarus would "accelerate vaccination and expand prevention of spreading of the novel coronavirus infection."

Sputnik V was the first COVID-19 vaccine registered in Russia and the world. It is 91.4 percent effective, according to the latest trial results released by Russian developers.