sputnik vaccine
© AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr
The first officially registered vaccine against COVID-19, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, is now undergoing Phase 3 trials involving around 2,000 people around the world.

"The WHO greatly appreciates the efforts that the Russian Federation has made to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, namely Sputnik V. Once again I want to thank Russia for its excellent efforts to create a safe and effective vaccine", Regional Director for Europe at the WHO Hans Kluge said after a meeting with Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko.

He also stressed that Russia had helped him to provide aid to Central Asian countries amid the pandemic and had generally shown its commitment to global solidarity.

Moscow has already received requests for one billion doses of the vaccine from at least 20 countries, but the authorities have noted that Russia has to attend to its own people first. The Russian Ministry of Health has confirmed that the drug underwent all the necessary checks and was proven to be capable of building immunity against the virus for at least two years.