Russia announced Wednesday that it had produced the first batch of its Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam. Vietnam is currently fighting a new wave COVID-19. According to a statement, the test batch was made in partnership with Vietnam’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Vabiotech.
The RDIF stated that the first samples of the batch will be sent to the Gamaleya Centre, Moscow’s vaccine developer, for quality control. Kirill Dmitriyev, chief executive of Vabiotech, stated in a statement that RDIF and Vabiotech were actively cooperating in technology transfer to make Sputnik V more accessible to the Vietnamese population.
Dat Tuan Do (President of Vabiotech) welcomed the announcement, stating that it would “help provide quality and affordable vaccines” to Vietnam and other countries within the region.
Recent surges in infections have seen Vietnam’s government place about a third of its 100 million citizens under stay-at-home orders to control the epidemic. With only 4.3 million vaccines being administered as of Monday, the Southeast Asian country has been slow in procuring and administering vaccines.
Russia registered Sputnik V in August last year ahead of large-scale clinical trials. Experts were concerned about the speedy process. In a report published in the leading medical journal The Lancet, it has been declared safe and more than 90% effective, thus restoring trust in Russia’s jab.
The RDIF has entered into production agreements with many countries, including India. This agreement is expected to allow the RDIF to produce hundreds of millions of doses annually. The RDIF claims that its two-dose vaccine was approved in 68 countries, and has applied to register in the European Union.