Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked officials with launching mass coronavirus vaccinations from next week, touting Russia’s homemade jab as the world’s best.

After being the first country to register a vaccine for use, Russia is looking to leap ahead of other countries in the race to inoculate its population of 146 million.

Russia in August registered Sputnik V months ahead of Western competitors but before the start of large-scale clinical trials, which left some experts wary.

Putin said Russia should get relevant infrastructure ready to boost production of the vaccine, which Moscow is promoting to other countries as cheaper and easier to transport than others jabs.

CHN/JA