ANKARA

Russia’s president has ordered officials to launch a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive by next week.

In a video conference with Cabinet members, Vladimir Putin called for a “mass vaccination for the entire population,” asking officials to “come up with the respective schedule of work, as is done with other infections like the flu.”

“We need to move from large-scale to mass vaccination,” the president said.

Tatyana Golikova, Russia’s deputy prime minister, told Putin that authorities were prepared to scale up the campaign from next Monday.

Russia approved its locally produced Sputnik V vaccine late last month and has inoculated over 800,000 people as part of its ongoing immunization drive.

The country reported 566 more coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, up from 531 the previous day, raising the total to 63,370.

Some 22,850 more COVID-19 cases were detected in Russia over the past day, taking the overall count past 3.47 million.

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