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World News

Russia names new COVID-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V' in reference to Cold War space race

FILE PHOTO: A scientist prepares samples during the research and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a laboratory of BIOCAD biotechnology company in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 11, 2020. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ for foreign markets, a reference to the world’s first satellite and what Moscow sees as its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine, a top official said on Tuesday.

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the country’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, said Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly-registered COVID-19 vaccine.

He was speaking after President Vladimir Putin announced the approval after less than two months of human testing. [L8N2FD38Q]

The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some international scientists to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before solid science and safety.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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