Sergei Sobyanin on large-scale COVID-19 vaccination programme

December 23, 2020

Starting on 21 December, industrial workers, transport sector and media outlets employees could already get a jab, according to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. He said this while visiting a vaccination centre at City Outpatient Clinic No 68.

Moscow ranks among the first cities providing free COVID-19 jabs. As of 5 December, teachers, doctors and social workers dealing with people on a daily basis and facing maximum infection risks were given the chance to be vaccinated. From 11 December, the list grew to include employees of integrated government services centres, cultural facilities, shops and the service sector.

“Moscow is the first city in the world to launch a large-scale vaccination programme. We have allowed educators, medical workers, salespersons, service-sector employees and those of cultural institutions to get COVID-19 jabs. Now, industrial workers, transport and media sector employees can also be vaccinated. We are actively at work throughout the city and have opened 70 jab centres fully equipped with all the required equipment. About 15,000 people have already been vaccinated to date, and the vaccination campaign is proceeding full speed ahead,” Mr Sobyanin enthused.

Russian stage director and actor Vladimir Mashkov, Artistic Director of the Tabakov Theatre, has already had his jab and said so far he felt fine.

“I am absolutely delighted to be among the first to get a shot. All of us have different reasons to be afraid and we have to get rid of the current fear now attacking us. To begin with, this concerns people working with large teams. Instead of merely advising everyone, I am asking them to take care of their own health and their near and dear ones and to get vaccinated. Believe me, this is the right thing to do and also the most correct thing to do today,” Mr Mashkov noted.

Moscow is using the Gam-COVID-Vac / Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology. All told, 3.9 billion roubles from the Moscow Government’s reserve fund were allocated for buying 1.5 million vaccine doses, and the 2021 city budget stipulates ten billion roubles for these purposes.

A total of 70 vaccination centres have opened at local adult outpatient clinics. Their number is expected to reach 170, as the vaccination programme expands. The centres are open from 8 am to 8 pm. Anyone can register on the and websites or by using the outpatient clinics’ interactive kiosks.  People can choose the most convenient way, including via websites, mobile apps or if preferred by phone.

People aged between 18 and 60 can be vaccinated against the coronavirus, provided that they have a compulsory medical insurance policy and are registered at a local outpatient clinic. Those over 60 will be vaccinated at a later date.

People signing up for jabs should not be suffering from any chronic ailments. Nor should they contract any acute respiratory viral illness two weeks prior to being vaccinated. There should be at least 30 days between any other vaccinations, including those against flu. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not get jabs.

The vaccination process is in two stages to enable a reliable immune response because the Sputnik V preparation consists of two components. The vaccine’s second component is administered 21 days following the first jab.

People don’t have to sign up again for the second vaccination because doctors will do this for them during the first visit. Patients will receive a text message with the date, time and place of the appointment (outpatient clinic) 24 hours prior to their jab.

As of 16 December, over 13,000 people have been vaccinated.

Vaccine storage and delivery

The authorities aim to comply with all the specific rules and requirements during vaccine storage and delivery.

Vaccines are brought to Medication Warehouse No 2 of the Medication Provision Centre, affiliated with the Moscow Department of Healthcare. All vaccine doses are delivered inside thermal containers at minus 20 degrees Celsius, and low temperatures are maintained along the entire temperature-controlled supply chain (cold chain). UTRIX-16 multi-use temperature loggers control the temperature regime.

Once delivered, vaccines are stored inside an approved freezer at minus 25 degrees.

Each vaccine pack is scanned, and the data relayed to the medication traffic monitoring system. The packs are then scanned again once inside the freezer to ensure strict compliance with all the required storage conditions.

Approved vehicles deliver the vaccines to the clinics inside TM-80 Thermo Cont MK thermal medical containers. TRID30-7F temperature loggers control the temperature regime and the entire temperature-controlled supply chain (cold chain).

Once delivered, the preparations are reloaded inside specially purchased MMSH-220 POZIS medical freezers with temperature loggers. Each pack is also scanned, and the data relayed to the medication traffic monitoring system. 

Post-clinical COVID-19 vaccine clinical tests

The Moscow Department of Healthcare has teamed up with the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Ministry of Healthcare to conduct clinical tests of the Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine’s efficiency, immunogenic potential and safety.

The tests aim to determine the safety of its immunogenic potential and virus-neutralising activity. The third phase of the tests aims to allow people over 60 to get jabs.

In all, 20 medical organisations, affiliated with the Moscow Department of Healthcare, and four private clinics have received accreditation certificates from the Moscow Department of Healthcare. This document allows them to conduct clinical tests. All of them meet international requirements; they have created research centres and selected chief and supporting doctors and researchers.

Up to 40,000 people can take part in the tests for a period of six months, and each of them will be vaccinated twice. The Volunteer’s Diary mobile app, developed especially for the project, is installed during the patient’s visit.

On 7 September, medical organisations started screening applicants to form the first group of volunteers, due to be vaccinated. They began getting jabs as of 9 September. As of 15 December, 27,300 volunteers had been vaccinated.

New outpatient clinic in Zamoskvorechye District

The new Outpatient Clinic No. 68 for children and adults is located at 23 Bolshoi Strochenovsky Pereulok. This family clinic for patients in all age categories boasts modern equipment, convenient user-friendly facilities for people with disabilities, easy-to-understand navigation signs and high comfort levels for both patients and doctors. The clinic has replaced a 1936 two-story building that housed an outpatient clinic for treating infectious diseases and single-story auxiliary buildings that were pulled down.

The outpatient clinic received its first patients on 28 September. The new building accommodates Subsidiary No. 3 of City Outpatient Clinic No. 38 for Children and Subsidiary No. 1 of City Outpatient Clinic No. 68 for Adults.

Earlier, both subsidiaries were located on the main floors of buildings dating back to the 1960s. The new structure is 2.5 times larger, with an area of 8,500 square metres, compared to 3,400 square metres for the older building. Due to changes in medical offices’ usage, the outpatient clinic receives 600 patients per shift, as compared to 320 in the past. The adult and child units are separated from each other. Different entrances, filtering boxes, as well as one-way patient traffic, are stipulated under Rospotrebnadzor recommendations.

A playground is located nearby.


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