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Russia responds to EU calls to "explain" the pace of its vaccine rollout

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.5%. 2 min read.

The Kremlin on Thursday said it’s happy with the pace of its domestic vaccination campaign as it prepares to launch production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine across “a number of foreign countries” in order to meet global demand.

The Kremlin on Thursday said it’s happy with the pace of its domestic vaccination campaign as it prepares to launch production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine across “a number of foreign countries” in order to meet global demand.

While Russia is working to supply its vaccine to foreign countries, the Kremlin spokesperson reiterated that supply for the Russian population across all regions remains a priority for the government.

“Overall I must say, we still wonder why Russia is still offering, theoretically millions and millions of doses while not sufficiently progressing in vaccinating their own people,” Von der Leyen said Wednesday.

Denis Logunov with the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, said last week that so far about 2. 2 million people received the first dose of the vaccine, out of which 1. 7 million received both shots, according to TASS state news agency.

In late January, Russian officials said the preliminary plan is to administer at least one dose to 20 million people out of Russia’s 145 million population in Q1 of 2021.

Added up, first-time claims actually stood at 1. 4 million last week, not adjusted for seasonal swings.

Instead, the big concern is the availability of enough doses and how many people can be vaccinated before the anticipated surge in Covid-19 cases due to the UK variant.

AstraZeneca's contract to supply the UK with 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses commits it to making "best reasonable efforts," the same language used in its deal with the European Union, which critics blamed for the bloc's faltering inoculation program.

The details of the contract are contained in a redacted version published online without fanfare months ago, long before the UK and the EU became embroiled in a bitter dispute over vaccine supply.

British officials had earlier declined to provide the contract to CNN, making no mention of the redacted version, and have repeatedly refused to give details on the country's vaccine supplies, citing "security reasons. " A junior UK government minister said in a recent interview that publishing the contract would risk national security.

Yet in response to a Freedom of Information request from CNN, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) this week provided CNN a link to the redacted 52-page contract, which had been published on a website that hosts details of UK government contracts.

Belgium, a country of around 11. 5 million people, has reported 184,565 suspected violations of coronavirus rules since restrictions came into force, according to official figures.

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