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May 6, 2021, 6:25 p.m. EDT

‘Sputnik Light’: Russia regulator OKs one-dose version of Sputnik V vaccine

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Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russian authorities have given regulatory approval to a single-dose version of the country’s Sputnik V vaccine.

Named Sputnik Light, the new version is identical to the first dose of the two-dose Sputnik V and has yet to complete the advanced testing needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Coronavirus Update: Global tally of COVID-19 cases tops 155 million as Biden supports waivers for vaccine patents

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko says authorizing the shot will help speed possible herd immunity against the virus. Official records show Russia started human trials of Sputnik Light in January, and the studies are still ongoing. Sputnik Light is the fourth domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine approved in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, “It’s nice to know that this range of tools (against COVID-19) is expanding.”

Russia is lagging behind a number of nations in terms of its vaccination rates. According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, 13.4 million people in Russia, or just 9% of Russia’s population of 146 million, had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 9.4 million, 6% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

Read on: EU regulator starts ‘rolling review’ of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

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