By Polina Nikolskaya, Polina Ivanova and Rinat Sagdiev
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Almost 1 million Russian civilians have received COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to a Reuters tally, as authorities strive to meet a target of 20 million vaccinations in the first quarter of the year.
The country's mass inoculation drive with the domestically produced Sputnik V vaccine began in December for certain groups and was then opened up to the general population in early January.
So far more than 957,000 citizens have received a shot, according to the Reuters tally based on data from local health authorities in each of Russia's 85 regions, either published on official sites or reported by regional media outlets.
The data was reported between Jan. 20 and Jan. 28 but covered the total number of shots administered since the start of the country's vaccination drive.
Sputnik V is administered in two doses, with the booster shot given 21 days after the first. The tally covered the number of people who have received at least one dose.
All regional authorities gave data, either via official statements or local media, for how many people had received one dose, though some also specified how many of that number had subsequently received the booster.
The tally does not include information provided by the defence ministry or law-enforcement bodies regarding vaccinations administered to their employees.
Russia's federal health ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the tally. The ministry does not provide standardised, regular updates for the total number of people vaccinated in the country.
This tally found that Russia, among the first in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine last year, has inoculated 0.7% of its population of 146.2 million so far. That would put it outside the top 15 countries globally who have reported the most doses administered as a share of population, Reuters data shows https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Thursday that 8.2 million doses of the vaccine had been produced in Russia thus far, of which 2.7 million doses had been distributed to medical facilities.
Golikova said on Jan. 23 that authorities expected 20 million Russian citizens to be vaccinated in the first quarter. She did not specify whether that number covered the military and law enforcement.
About 320,000 people had been vaccinated in Moscow as of Jan. 28, according to the TASS news agency which cited the capital's deputy mayor as saying this on the Russia-24 TV channel. A further 65,954 people have been vaccinated in the Moscow region, regional health ministry data showed, and 49,408 in St. Petersburg, according to the city's government.
Another 21 regions, including Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Sverdlovsk, have each reported vaccinating between 10,000 and 20,000 people so far, according to the Reuters tally. The remaining 61 regions have all reported vaccinating fewer than 10,000 people thus far, the calculations found.
Sputnik V shots are produced by seven domestic manufacturers, six of which are private pharmaceutical firms.
Russia is also exporting Sputnik V. It has exported just under 900,000 shots of either the first component or the booster dose so far, according to a Reuters tally based on media statements by the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Most were sent to Argentina.
Russia has registered a second vaccine, EpiVacCorona. It began distributing it in small numbers in December and is now ramping up production.
(Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya, Polina Ivanova and Rinat Sagdiev; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Anton Zverev and Pravin Char)