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26 February 2021, 18:11

RDIF: Belarus-made Sputnik V vaccine might be exported to third countries

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – The Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine produced in Belarus might be exported to third countries, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told reporters, BelTA has learned.

“We see that Belarus is able to produce a vaccine not only for its own needs. After satisfying domestic demand, it will be possible to export the vaccine to third countries to help them fight against the pandemic, although, of course, vaccination of citizens of Russia and Belarus will remain a priority,” Kirill Dmitriev said.

The first validation batches of the vaccine were bottled using Russian technology at the Belmedpreparaty facilities. Kirill Dmitriev noted that Belmedpreparaty is one of the most advanced pharmaceutical companies among RDIF's many partners around the world. This made it possible to pass the key stages of the Sputnik V production in the shortest possible time.

Kirill Dmitriev calls the recent technology transfer a landmark event not only for partner relations between Belarus and Russia, but also for the whole world. The same vaccine production model will be used in cooperation with other countries.

Belarus' Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich noted that Belarus took part in clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine and was the first country outside Russia to register and receive it. At that stage already there were plans to localize the vaccine production in Belarus to fully meet the country's needs in vaccines. According to the minister, this attests to the strategic nature of cooperation with Russian partners.

The Sputnik V vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of Russia's Ministry of Health. The vaccine efficacy is over 90%, the vaccine offers complete protection against severe cases of coronavirus. Sputnik V is an adenoviral vector vaccine. Adenoviral vectors cause the common cold that has been known to humanity for millennia. The Sputnik jab uses two different versions of the vaccine for the first and second dose - given 21 days apart, which forms a stronger immunity compared to vaccines that use the same delivery mechanism for both shots. The safety, efficacy and the lack of long-term side effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proved in more than 250 clinical trials over two decades.

More than 1.5 million people have already been vaccinated with Sputnik V. The vaccine is approved in Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, the UAE, Iran, Guinea, Tunisia and Armenia. The vaccine registration in the EU has also been initiated.

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