Successful takeoff. Russia announced on Wednesday that it had produced a first batch of its Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam, with a view to facilitating access to immunization in this country which is struggling to contain a wave of Covid-19.
This first batch, which serves as a test, was produced in partnership with Vietnamese state-owned pharmaceutical company Vabiotech, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the design of SputnikV, said in a statement. The quality of this batch must now be verified by the Gamaleïa center in Moscow, the designer of the Russian vaccine.
In Vietnam, difficult access to vaccines
“RDIF and Vabiotech are cooperating closely in the process of technology transfer to ensure easier access to Sputnik V for the Vietnamese population,” said the director of the Russian Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, quoted in the statement. Vabiotech President Dat Tuan Do, for his part, praised a “cooperation that will help provide quality and affordable vaccines to Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia” .
Cited as a model for managing the health crisis at the start of the pandemic, Vietnam is currently facing an unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19, forcing the government to order the containment of several tens of millions of inhabitants. And he is struggling to provide himself with vaccines: only 4.3 million doses have been administered to date, according to official figures.
Expanding Russian vaccine production sources
Russia is seeking for its part to diversify the sources of production for Sputnik V, its own capacities being limited and devoted primarily to the Russian population. It has thus signed production agreements with several countries, including India, which will eventually produce several hundred million doses per year.
According to RDIF, the Russian vaccine is now licensed in 68 countries, covering 3.7 billion people.