Russia approves deal to produce 60 million doses of Sputnik vaccine in China

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Mar 29, 2021, 02:54 PM(IST)

Bottles with Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen before inoculation at a clinic Photograph:( Reuters )

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The RDIF, Russia's sovereign wealth fund that has backed the development of the vaccine, said that the amount of the two-dose vaccine would be enough to vaccinate some 30 million people, adding that production would begin in May

Russia has agreed a deal for more than 60 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to be produced in China from May, the jab's developer said on Monday.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has financed the development of the jab, said it and Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech Co. "have agreed to cooperate on production of over 60 million doses" of Sputnik in China.

The RDIF, Russia's sovereign wealth fund that has backed the development of the vaccine, said that the amount of the two-dose vaccine would be enough to vaccinate some 30 million people, adding that production would begin in May.

Also read| Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to be manufactured in India

"Cooperation with Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech will enable us to produce Sputnik V in China, thus increasing the capacities to provide additional amounts as we see rising demand for the Russian vaccine globally," CEO Kirill Dmitriev said in a statement.

Earlier, India's Stelis Biopharma partnered with Russia's sovereign fund to make at least 200 million doses of Sputnik V, its parent company said on Friday, taking the nation's total output of the COVID-19 vaccine to more than half a billion doses.

Also read| France accuses Russia of using its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine as 'propaganda' tool

The announcement by the parent, Strides Pharma Science, of a pact with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) follows similar deals by Indian pharmaceutical firms Gland Pharma and Hetero.

"The significant vaccine volumes which will be produced jointly with Stelis will help to widen access to the vaccine on a global scale," Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Fund, said in a statement.

Sputnik V, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, has proved 91.6 per cent effective against COVID-19 and has been approved for use in more than 50 countries, with the Fund signing supply deals with more than 13 nations.

India, the world's largest vaccine maker, has now become one of the biggest producers of the shot outside Russia. Other countries producing it include Brazil, China and South Korea.

The West has accused Beijing and Moscow of using their vaccines as tools to win geopolitical clout.

Russia and China have rejected claims that they are seeking to use coronavirus vaccines to project their influence and accused Western countries of hoarding vaccines to the detriment of poor nations.

The Sputnik V vaccine has been registered in 57 countries, with a total population of more than 1.5 billion people.

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