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Russia starts COVID-19 vaccinations among those at high risk

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Russia starts COVID-19 vaccinations among those at high risk
A Russian medic inoculates a woman with Russia's vaccine against COVID-19 disease at a clinic in Moscow on Saturday. Photo by Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- COVID-19 vaccinations started in Russia on Saturday for doctors, teachers and social workers at high-risk.

Vaccinations began in Moscow, state-run Tass news agency reported, citing a city's coronavirus monitoring center statement.

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"Coronavirus vaccination began today at 70 city public health centers for those from major at-risk groups, who contact large numbers of people at work," the statement said. "Those include medical, educational and social workers."

The Sputnik V vaccine is being introduced to these groups with certain restrictions outlined on the city's website, where people ages 18-60 attached to a Moscow clinic can sign up for vaccination if they meet requirements.

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Among the restrictions, the vaccine is not available for anyone pregnant or breastfeeding, anyone who has chronic diseases, anyone in a clinical trial, or anyone sick with acute respiratory viral infection two weeks before or during vaccination.

"We work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week," Moscow Hospital 68 chief doctor Dr. Natalya Nikolaevna Kuzenkova told CNN regarding the vaccination process.

Russian scientists developed the vaccine, which has not completed Phase 3 of human trials, according to CNN.

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Meanwhile, Russia recorded 28,782 new coronavirus cases Saturday, according to the country's coronavirus response center.

Since the pandemic began, Russia has reported over 2.4 million cases and 42,338 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University global tracker.

In Argentina, senators passed a new tax on the wealthiest people to pay for COVID-19 relief measures such as medical supplies. The tax applies to some 12,000 people with more than $2.5 million in assets.

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Argentina has reported over 1.4 million cases and 39,512 deaths, according to the global tracker.

It was the fifth country worldwide to reach at least 1 million COVID-19 cases in October. With a population of about 45 million people, it was the smallest nation to surpass the 1 million figure at the time, following the United States, India, Brazil and Russia, with much larger populations.

In Japan, the health ministry announced a record number of COVID-19 intensive care patients.

The ministry also announced 2,432 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to over 160,870, according to the global tracker.

The country also reported 43 COVID-19 related deaths Friday, matching a previous record number from May 8, and bringing the total number of deaths in Japan during the pandemic to 2,229.

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Worldwide, COVID-19 has infected over 66 million people and killed over 1.5 million people.

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