Moscow | Russia announced Wednesday that it has produced the first shipment of its Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam to facilitate access to immunization in that country, which is struggling to contain the COVID-19 wave.
This first pilot batch was produced in partnership with the Vietnamese state-owned pharmaceutical company Vabiotech, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the development of the Sputnik V satellite.
The quality of this batch is now to be verified by the Gamaleïa center in Moscow, the developer of the Russian vaccine.
“RDIF and Vabiotech are working closely on technology transfer to facilitate access to Sputnik V for the Vietnamese population,” said Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Foundation, quoted in the statement.
“Although the pandemic is far from over and new, more dangerous variants of the coronavirus are being found in various regions of the world, RDIF is increasing the production capacity of Sputnik V to speed up vaccination,” he said.
Vabiotech President Dat Tuan Do, for his part, welcomed “the cooperation that will help provide Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia with quality and affordable vaccines.”
Vietnam is currently facing an unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, forcing the government to issue containment orders for tens of millions of residents.
Vietnam, which is considered a model for managing the health crisis at the start of the pandemic, is currently struggling to obtain vaccines, and to date, according to official figures, only 4.3 million doses have been administered.
Russia is seeking to diversify sources of production for Sputnik V, as its own capacity is limited and intended primarily for the Russian population.
He has signed manufacturing agreements with several countries, including India, that will eventually produce several hundred million doses per year.
According to RDIF, the Russian vaccine is now licensed in 68 countries, reaching 3.7 billion people.