A Russian medical worker displays a trial vaccine against COVID-19 in a post-registration phase of the test at outpatient hospital number 68 in Moscow, Russia, 17 September 2020. Russia registered the new vaccine called 'Sputnik V' against Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 and opens the stage of its massive testing. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

The production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has begun at the Karaganda pharmaceutical enterprise in Kazakhstan, the press service of Kazakhstan’s government reported on Monday.

“Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin has visited the Karaganda pharmaceutical complex, where he jump-started the production of the Sputnik V vaccine as part of the implementation of the agreements between Presidents Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation,” the statement said.

According to the press service, 2 million vaccine doses will be made at the enterprise in stages. “Mass vaccination with Sputnik V manufactured in Kazakhstan will begin in February 2021. Medical workers, teachers, students, law enforcement officers, the staff of medical and social institutions, as well as representatives of risk groups with chronic diseases, will be inoculated first on a voluntary basis,” Mamin said.

He also highlighted the importance of localizing the industrial production of the Sputnik V vaccine in Kazakhstan.

On December 18, Tokayev said that Kazakhstan would launch the joint production of COVID-19 vaccines with Russia, both Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s, including for export.