MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia began vaccinating its cosmonauts and staff on Friday at Star City, the closed town near Moscow that is home to the country’s space programme, the Roscosmos space corporation said.
Russia rolled out the Sputnik V jab to medics and other frontline workers in Moscow earlier this month, and more than 200,000 people have already been vaccinated.
Cosmonaunts Nikolai Chub and Oleg Artemyev, a former crew member of the International Space Station, had the first of the two Sputnik V vaccine jabs on Friday, it said.
Olga Minina, head of the local clinic, said the cosmonauts had volunteered to take the vaccine, which is named after Soviet satellite that triggered the space race. It is one of a number of vaccines developed by Russia, and one of two in final phase trials that are yet to be completed.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was yet to be inoculated but that he would do so when possible.
(Reporting by Anton Derbenev; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Philippa Fletcher)