Russia seeks local manufacture of Sputnik Covid vaccine


Russian Ambassador to Manila Marat Pavlov said Moscow is in the final stage of negotiation with Filipino partners to manufacture Sputnik V vaccines in the Philippines.

“Russia signed manufacturing agreements with foreign partners in China, Egypt, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Serbia, and Argentina, which have already launched the production of Sputnik V. With the Philippines, we are also in the final stage of negotiation and we hope to conclude it shortly,” Pavlov disclosed at the online Vaccine Summit on Friday.

With this development, he expressed hope that local government units in the country would be actively involved in the procurement and distribution of the Russian-made jabs.

He, however, did not identify which manufacturers have been tapped to produce the shots locally.

The Philippines has so far secured 20 million doses of these vaccines after signing a contract with Russia in April, with the first 500,000 doses expected this month.

Pavlov said this number would gradually increase every month.

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and has a 91.6 percent efficacy, according to The Lancet.

“The vaccine is based on human adenovirus vector technology. The technology has been widely used for more than 40 years in making drugs and vaccines, so it is absolutely safe,” Pavlov said.

In the same forum, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian reported that two million doses of the Sinovac-manufactured CoronaVac would also be shipped to the Philippines in May.

“We are delighted to know that the Russian vaccine will arrive in Manila soon to help the Philippines fight against the pandemic. Certain vaccine-producing countries hoard large amounts of vaccines far beyond their real needs,” Huang said.

He said they also prohibit the export of raw materials for vaccine production, resulting in a serious shortage of vaccines in developing countries.

“Vaccine nationalism, contrary to international fairness and justice, undermines (the) international community’s hard work to fight against the pandemic,” he added.

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