It's an honor to be the first in something, but it's also difficult because you are forced to travel off beaten path. But this is true only if the first place was achieved in a fair competition.
One thing is certain - Russia was the first country to announce it has developed a vaccine against Covid-19. This fact cannot be disputed, but the effectiveness of the vaccine is an entirely different story. We have already discussed this, so I won't repeat myself, but you can read how European experts are doubting the Russian Covid-19 vaccine.1 Russia was also the first country to begin vaccination, and this also is an undisputable fact.
Of course, it's great to be the first to develop the vaccine, but what is more important is whether the vaccine is effective. It's also great to be able to be the first to begin vaccinating the population, but it's more important to be the first to complete the vaccination of the entire population. Russia is a vast country, but this also means it has more resources that other countries. This should be the case, but it seems that in reality it is far from it. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked French President Emmanuel Macron to aid Russia in the production of the Sputnik V vaccine. This was reported by the French newspaper Challenges citing a diplomatic source. The Kremlin's website also contains information than on 7 November Putin during a phone call with Macron expressed that Russia should cooperate with the French Pasteur Institute in Paris. Macron asked for some time to discuss this with scientists. Although already back then Moscow promised that mass vaccination will begin this year, it turns out that Russia does not possess the capacity to produce the vaccine in the required amount. In late October, Putin admitted that there are "certain problems" with the equipment required to begin mass production.2
We can congratulate Russia on being first, but what if being first is its only achievement? How will everything unfold is unclear, but it looks like Russia is once again merely boasting. Russia was also the first country to announce that it will begin vaccinating its people. Now, other countries have joined Russia. Which vaccine will be the most effective - only time will tell. However, Russia already is starting to lose in one aspect, i.e. the number of people who have already received the vaccine. If Russia was the first to develop and use the vaccine at least five days before everyone else, it would only make sense that Russia has the most number of people vaccinated. Let's look at the numbers:3
1. Russia begins vaccinations on 5 December
2. The UK begins vaccinations on 8 December
3. Canada begins vaccinations on 14 December
4. The US begins vaccinations on 14 December
5. China begins vaccinations on 19 December
6. Israel begins vaccinations on 20 December
The number of vaccinated people until 23 December:
1. China Â - 1 million
2. The US - 556,208
3. The UK - 500,000
4. Russia - 200,000
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).