Over 20 countries want Russian COVID-19 vaccine: spokesperso

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More than 20 countries are interested in getting Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

Russia maintains "the closest contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the development and future use" of the vaccine, Zakharova told a news briefing.

She recalled that the WHO has launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a global partnership to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

Russia is ready to join and support the WHO initiative, Zakharova said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that the country has created the world's first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

The country will start the production of the vaccine, named Sputnik V, within two weeks, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday.

Russia will offer the vaccine to other countries after its own citizens are vaccinated, Murashko said, adding that foreign nations' doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine are unfounded.

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