Russia preparing mass vaccination against coronavirus for October, according to reports

Medical workers wearing protective gear get out from an ambulance as they transport a patient suspected of having coronavirus. Credit: AP

Russia is planning the roll-out of mass coronavirus vaccinations from October, local news agencies have reported.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the Gamaleya Institute - a state research facility in Moscow - had completed clinical trials of the vaccine.

The Interfax news agency reported that the paperwork is being prepared to register the vaccine, in preparation for mass use in the autumn.

Mr Murashko is reported to have said doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccination.

Russian Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko. Credit: AP

Mr Murashko was quoted as saying: "We plan wider vaccinations for October".

A source told Reuters news agency that the country's first potential Covid-19 vaccine would secure regulatory approval as early as August.

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out a potential vaccine has prompted some to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige ahead of science and safety.

According to the latest data from John Hopkins University, Russia has a total of 849,277 confirmed coronavirus cases, the fourth highest in the world.

More than 14,100 people in the country have died from the respiratory disease.

People wait in line to check-in at Sheremetyevo international airport, outside Moscow. Credit: AP

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to halt the pandemic.

At least four are in final Phase III human trials - according to World Health Organization (WHO) data - including three developed in China and another in Britain.

Researchers at the University of Oxford made a breakthrough earlier this month, with a potential "safe" vaccine found that "induces an immune reaction".