Brazil drugmaker seeks contract, regulatory OK for Russian vaccine next week

Brazil drugmaker seeks contract, regulatory OK for Russian vaccine next week
Brazil drugmaker seeks contract, regulatory OK for Russian vaccine next week

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - With approval by Lebanon yesterday, Sputnik V has been authorized for emergency use in 18 countries besides Russia, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is marketing the vaccine. — (RDIF)/Handout via Reuters

BRASILIA, Feb 6 ― Brazilian drug maker União Química expects to have regulatory approval and a government contract by next week for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19, its director for international business Rogerio Rosso told Reuters yesterday.

Rosso said the company expects to draw up a contract by Wednesday with the health ministry for an initial 10 million ready-for-use imported doses based on a reference price of US$10 (RM40.66) per dose.

He said the ministry is also interested in buying the firm's entire domestic production of Sputnik V, an estimated 8 million doses a month from April, for Brazil's national immunisation programme.

Rosso added he expects Brazilian health regulator Anvisa will approve emergency use of the Russian vaccine next week, as the agency eased requirements for such an authorization.

The first of 10 million doses committed by Russia are ready for dispatch to Brazil as soon as Anvisa greenlights the shot.

Neither the health ministry nor Anvisa immediately replied to a request for comment.

With approval by Lebanon yesterday, Sputnik V has been authorised for emergency use in 18 countries besides Russia, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is marketing the vaccine. The two-dose vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6 per cent, according to data published on Tuesday in The Lancet medical journal.

RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev has said Brazil could become a Sputnik V supplier to its neighbors in Latin America, where six nations have approved the vaccine, including Argentina, which started immunizations with it in December.

Rosso, a former congressman and governor of Brasilia, said that will have to wait now that the Brazilian government plans to buy União Química's output, at least until the company can ramp up production later this year with additional equipment. ― Reuters

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