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Syria's Assad wants Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

A nurse prepares to inoculate volunteer Ilya Dubrovin, 36, with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in a post-registration trials at a clinic in Moscow on September 10, 2020. - Russia announced last month that its vaccine, named "Sputnik V" after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957, had already received approval. The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya research institute in Moscow in coordination with the Russian defence ministry. (Photo by Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP) (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
A nurse prepares a coronavirus vaccine at a clinic in Moscow, Russia on 10 September 2020 [NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images]

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has acknowledged that he would personally like to receive Russia's vaccine against coronavirus.

Speaking to the Russian news outlet Sputnik, Al-Assad addressed having a vaccine available in Syria, saying that in the context of the ongoing pandemic "Everybody in Syria is asking about the Russian vaccine and when it's going to be available."

"I think [the vaccine] is not available for the international market yet, but we are going to discuss it with the Russian authorities when it's available internationally to have vaccines for the Syrian market. It's very important…it's a necessity at these times."

When asked if he would personally be injected with the Russian vaccine, he remarked: "Of course, in these circumstances, anyone would love to be vaccinated against this dangerous virus."

READ: In northwest Syria camps brace for covid catastrophe. In Aleppo, locals bribe hospitals for beds

Russia officially registered the world's first vaccine against coronavirus in August, named Sputnik V, it is currently undergoing its third stage of clinical trials in accordance with protocols set out by the World Health Organisation.

Around 20 countries have reportedly already placed their orders to the Russian government for doses of the vaccine, with Brazil, Vietnam, India and Saudi Arabia amongst those intending to test and use it.

A primary purchaser of the vaccine has also been Egypt, to whom Russia agreed to supply 25 million doses in the near future.

Regarding the amount the Syrian regime would buy from Russia, Assad said: "That depends on how much is available and we have to discuss the amount that we need with the health authority in Syria."

READ: Syria's Assad says Russian bases in his country keep balance of power in region

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CoronavirusEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyria
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