Russia names its 1st COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ after space race triumph

This image shows vials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, named “Sputnik V.”  (Image credit: Russian Health Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Russia’s working on a COVID-19 vaccine, and it’s got a seriously space-y name: Sputnik V. 

The country announced Tuesday (Aug. 11) that its first vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has received regulatory approval for foreign markets, according to Reuters. And, in a nod to last century’s Cold War space race, they named the vaccine Sputnik V after the world’s first satellite, called Sputnik, launched by the Soviet Union on Oct. 4, 1957. The name signifies the country’s success in being the first to have a vaccine approved, according to a Russian government official, Reuters reported. 

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