RT: Russia’s coronavirus vaccines will not be offered commercially and won’t be given to tourists, the health ministry pledged on Wednesday after reports emerged in foreign media that “vaccination tours” are now on sale abroad.
Speaking to TASS, Alexey Kuznetsov, an assistant to the country’s health minister, explained that any foreign visits being organised to Russia for vaccination against Covid-19 are entirely fraudulent. According to Kuznetsov, Russia’s domestically produced vaccines won’t be commercially available for quite some time.
“Vaccination is already underway, and it is free for citizens. Russians have absolute priority,” Kuznetsov explained. “Only after satisfying our internal need, which means vaccinating all risk groups and all others who wish to be inoculated, will it be possible to talk about supplying doses commercially.”
According to TASS, a Czech TV station ran a report that tours were being offered to Russia for the purposes of Covid-19 vaccination, with the cost exceeding 30,000 Czech Koruna ($1,300) per trip.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated that Russia could make up to $100 billion from sales of coronavirus vaccines, claiming that over 50 countries have expressed interest in buying doses of Sputnik V, the first registered formula in the world.
Moscow is currently hosting the third phase trial of Sputnik V. The mass post-registration testing of the vaccine, which was produced by the city’s Gamaleya Institute, involves 40,000 volunteers – a quarter of whom will receive a placebo. On October 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of the second domestic vaccine, EpiVacCorona, developed in Siberia. A third formula is also said to be on the way.