The Russian military has delivered 250,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik Light vaccine to Damascus along with Covid-19 tests and tons of humanitarian goods as part of the Defense Ministry’s humanitarian aid initiative.
Doses of the one-shot vaccine and 1 million PCR Covid-19 tests were handed over to the Syrian authorities, the Russian Defense Ministry said. They were flown to Syria on the Il-76 military transport aircraft in special thermal containers ensuring all the necessary storage conditions are met.
The Defense Ministry also published a video of the medical goods being loaded onto the plane in Moscow. Russian soldiers can be seen moving special white containers inside the hull. Each container acts as a freezer and contains 10,000 vaccine doses.
The decision to send the vaccines and tests to Syria was made by President Vladimir Putin upon the initiative of Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. A Russian interdepartmental task force arrived in Damascus along with the humanitarian aid package.
The group led by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the National Defense Management Center – Russia’s top command and control center – is tasked with helping the Syrian authorities streamline their efforts in facilitating the return of Syrian refugees, rebuilding the country, and modernizing outdated technology.
Russia will send similar aid packages on a regular basis, Mizintsev said. The aid also includes around 160 tons of food, drugs, equipment, and various other cargo.
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The one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine is a lighter version of Russia’s pioneering Sputnik V, which was also developed by the nation’s Gamaleya Institute. It was registered by the Russian Health Ministry in late March.
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