Putin, Lukashenko Discuss Belarus’ Participation in Russian Anti-COVID Vaccine Tests

Belarus’ participation in the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine trials was among the topics discussed by Russian and Belarusian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, during their Monday’s telephone conversation, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed to TASS.

“During their telephone conversation, Putin and Lukashenko did discuss Belarus’ participation in trials of the Russian vaccine [against the coronavirus],” he said, adding that Lukashenko congratulated Putin on the successful development of the vaccine.

Belarus’ news agency BelTA reported earlier in the day that the two presidents had agreed that Belarus would be the first country to be supplied with the Russian-made anti-coronavirus vaccine and that Belarusian nationals would take part in the third stage of the vaccine trials on a voluntary basis.

On August 11, Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, and its clinical trials were successfully completed in June-July. The vaccine was based on a platform that had been used for a number of other vaccines. The Russian Health Ministry on August 15 announced the launch of the vaccine production.

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