Early trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine among children ages 12 to 17 have started in Moscow, city officials said Monday. Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said 100 volunteers have been recruited who haven't been previously infected with the coronavirus and don't have health issues that would prevent them from getting the shots. Rakova said the youths will receive a small dose of Sputnik V than what is usually administered for adults.
The new trial comes as Russia faces a sharp surge in coronavirus infections and struggles to ramp up its low vaccine uptake. As of last week, only 23 million people, or just over 15% of the country's 146-million population, have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine. In the meantime, the number of daily new virus cases have more than doubled over the past month, going from roughly 9,000 a day in early June to over 24,000 this week. On Monday, Russia's state coronavirus task force reported 24,353 new cases and 654 deaths.
Russian authorities have registered over 5.6 million confirmed cases of the virus in the pandemic and 138,579 deaths.