The claim has been made by a representative of the country’s health ministry, who cited data collated from vaccinations of the public rather than from an ongoing trial. Moscow is preparing to publish preliminary results of an ongoing large-scale human trial, known as Phase III. The country is testing the vaccine on 40,000 people in the Russian capital.

But Oksana Drapkina, director of a research institute under the health ministry, said in a statement: “We are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine among citizens who have received it as part of the mass vaccination programme.

“Based on our observations, its effectiveness is also more than 90 percent.

“The appearance of another effective vaccine – this is good news for everyone.”

Russia is still prepared to roll out the vaccine for domestic use – even though large-scale trials have not yet finished.

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Russia has claimed its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is ‘more than 90 percent’ effective (Image: TASS)

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Russian health authorities said the coronavirus vaccine breakthrough is ‘good news for everyone’ (Image: TASS)

The comments from Moscow followed a breakthrough announcement by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech earlier on Monday, who said their experimental COVID-19 vaccine was also more than 90 percent effective.

Alexander Gintsburg, director of Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute which developed the Russian vaccine candidate, welcomed the news.

Mr Gintsburg said: “We welcome the progress shown by our foreign colleagues in the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

“The more vaccines are available in the world, the better people will be protected.

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Russia has been testing its own Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine (Image: TASS)

“People at high risk of infection – primarily medical workers – are already being actively vaccinated in our country.”

Commenting on Russia’s own coronavirus vaccine, he added: “Production is being scaled up and new production sites are joining the process.

“In the near future, we expect to publish interim results of the post-registration trial of the vaccine Sputnik V, the so-called Phase III trials.

“I am sure that its effectiveness level will also be high.”

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Russia has seen daily coronavirus cases surge recently (Image: AFP)

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Vladimir Putin has so far resisted calls to introduce stricter coronavirus measures (Image: GETTY)

On Monday, Russia reported a record high of 21,798 new coronavirus infections as authorities continued to call for stricter measures to contain the virus in certain regions.

Moscow, home to nearly 13 million people in Russia, recorded 6,897 new cases.

The latest record increase has seen the total number of coronavirus infections surge to 1,796,132 – the fourth highest in the world behind the US, India and Brazil.

A further 256 deaths from coronavirus were also recorded over the latest 24-hour period, taking the death toll from COVID-19 in the country to 30,793.

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Russia has recorded nearly 1.8 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began (Image: EXPRESS)

Russia has relaxed many of the restrictions it imposed during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year, with authorities ordering people to wear masks and often gloves in shops and a number of other public places.

Authorities have recently rejected calls for stricter restrictions to be introduced and have stressed the importance of hygiene and safety precautions.

Vladimir Putin has insisted Russia has no plans to follow other global superpowers by imposing blanket restrictions or a national lockdown to curb the surge in coronavirus cases.

The Russia President has said the country would instead impose targeted measures if needed.

But on Monday, Anna Popova, head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog, issued a huge warning to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at a televised meeting with Government officials.

She said: “It is necessary to strengthen restrictions and control over their implementation in the regions where the daily case load and the infection is spreading at rates significantly higher than the average Russian levels.”

The head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog said restrictions should be increased in the Eastern Magadan and Sakhalin regions, as well as the Arkhangelsk and Ulyanovsk regions.

Ms Popova also warned that in areas of the country, including the Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia regions in the North Caucasus, and the Penza region, more than half of the population did not wear masks on public transport and in busy shopping areas.



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