Kazakhstan has signed a deal to get supplies of Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine once clinical trials are complete, the Central Asian nation’s government said.

The government did not say how many doses of the vaccine it planned to buy and at what price. It said the vaccine would be made available to at-risk Kazakh citizens free of charge.

The vaccine, called “Sputnik V” in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union, has been hailed as safe and effective by Russian authorities and scientists following two months of small-scale human trials. But Western experts have been more sceptical. 

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