MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – Belarus is set to start localizing the manufacture of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said as he met with Russian Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev in Minsk on 19 January, BelTA has learned.
“I am glad about close collaboration of our government agencies. In the near future we are set to embark on gradual localization of production in Belarus [of the Russian vaccine against COVID-19]. This will give us new competencies in the field of microbiology and pharmaceuticals,” Roman Golovchenko said.
Dmitry Mezentsev also pointed to the high level of interaction between the two countries. “First of all, I would like to express my appreciation for this very professional joint work of the healthcare ministries of Belarus and Russia, the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (Rospotrebnadzor), manufacturers of the Sputnik V vaccine and those specialists who are now getting ready to launch a joint production of the vaccine. We believe that the first commercial batch will be rolled out in Belarus in February-March thanks to the collaboration of Belarusian and Russian specialists. Vladimir Putin once said that Belarus would be the first country to receive the vaccine; and this decision has already been implemented. The mass vaccination began even earlier than planned. It was originally scheduled for January, but it kicked off on 29 December. We have signed contracts for vaccine supplies for January, February, March,” the ambassador stressed.
According to him, cooperation in this field will continue. “This shows specialists in other sectors - economists, power engineers, transport workers - how we can collaborate when we are looking for joint solutions,” he added.