Healthcare workers at Moscow's Filatov City Clinical Hospital No 15 starting to admit patients suspected of the COVID-19 infection. (Photo Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave instructions on Friday to launch preparations for the coronavirus vaccine production in Russia.

“One of the aspects is the production. It is not enough just to find the corresponding medicinal preparation. It is also necessary to produce it in required amounts and it is necessary to take care about that already now. Now it is necessary to start preparations for the process of the [vaccine] production,” Putin said at a meeting on building and repurposing health care institutions in the regions.

The Russian leader noted that work was underway at seven research centers to find a vaccine against the coronavirus and “in principle, this work is proceeding successfully, in any case, at some of them.”

Putin asked Health Minister Mikhail Murashko about whether it was possible to develop the vaccine earlier than the designated timeframe, i.e. before the third quarter of this year. The health minister replied that various options were being explored to expedite the work.

“I understand that you should display caution in these estimates and forecasts and I want to wish all those who are working in this area successes,” the Russian president said.

“We all understand how important these results are for our country and for the entire world,” Putin said.

The Russian leader said he hoped that “the work will be completed with a positive result and as soon as possible.”

Source: TASS, April 18, 2020