Russian Fund Says Mexico To Get 32 Million Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
By RFE/RL September 09, 2020
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) says it has signed a deal with a Mexican pharmaceutical company, Landsteiner Scientific, to deliver 32 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
The fund said on September 9 that shipments to Mexico will begin in November, pending approval by Mexican medical regulators.
According to the RDIF, Landsteiner Scientific will be Sputnik V's distributor in Mexico.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the same day that the Moscow-based Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the vaccine, was open to make it available for other countries, while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during talks with his Kazakh counterpart, Mukhtar Tleuberdi, that the two countries had reached agreements on deliveries of the Russian vaccine to Kazakhstan for tests and vaccinations.
The first batch of the new vaccine was released for civil distribution on September 8, with Russian officials adding that a countrywide COVID-19 vaccination campaign will begin next month following post-registration tests.
Despite a lack of published data, Russia approved the vaccine for domestic use on August 11. President Vladimir Putin said at the time of the announcement that the vaccine provided "sustainable immunity" and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated. Data on the tests, however, was published later in the British medical journal The Lancet showing patients involved in early tests developed antibodies with "no serious adverse events."
On August 15, the Gamaleya center and Binnopharm pharmaceutical company started producing the vaccine.
Russian authorities have said that they expect the number of vaccines needed to cover Russia's entire population will have been produced within one year.
Russia has recorded just over 1 million cases of the coronavirus, with more than 18,000 deaths.
With reporting by TASS and Interfax
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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