With countries world over scrambling to buy coronavirus vaccines that have been found to be effective at preventing the infection, Russia has offered to supply its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan. Although the shot has not finished its final trials, the country started distributing vaccinations Saturday last. Russia has offered to sell its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a letter to this effect along with data on the vaccine’s clinical research and trials from the Russian Embassy in Islamabad. They said the ministry has apprised the National Health Services (NHS) on the vaccine on offer. According to a clinical report that seeks to compare the vaccine candidate with other potential Covid-19 vaccines, Sputnik developed in Russia is 90 percent effective and cheaper than other vaccines. Besides, the report said the Russian vaccine doesn’t need onerous storage requirements like the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that needs to be kept at -70C (-94F) and only lasts five days in a regular fridge. It said Russia’s Direct Investment Fund bankrolled the development of the vaccine that is now being administered to Russian troops. The vaccine was registered in August 2020 with its limited use starting in November. Earlier on Saturday, Russia began distributing the Sputnik V Covid-19 shot via clinics in Moscow, marking the country’s first mass vaccination against the disease, the city’s coronavirus task force said. The task force said the Russian-made vaccine would first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers and social workers because they ran the highest risk of exposure to the disease. Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak, registered 7,993 new cases overnight, up from 6,868 a day before and well above the daily tallies of around 700 seen in early September. “Over the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the job – teachers, doctors, social workers, those who are today risking their health and lives the most,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his website. The age for those receiving shots is capped at 60, while people with certain underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those who have had a respiratory illness for the past two weeks are barred from vaccination. The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two injections, with the second dose to be given 21 days after the first.