PH eyes manufacture of Russia COVID vaccine

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    The Philippines is eyeing the possibility of manufacturing Sputnik V anti-new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine of Russia.

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in a statement yesterday said he discussed this with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev during the latter’s farewell courtesy call last October 6.

    Lopez and Khovaev agreed to hold the Philippines-Russia joint economic cooperation this November where the collaboration on the vaccine is an important agenda.

    The plan is part of a bilateral discussion between Russia and the Philippines, which includes joint clinical trials and the immediate provision of vaccine supply after the third phase and regulatory approval.

    The Philippines is one of the countries which earlier expressed interest in using the Sputnik V vaccine being developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

    Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said Khovaev noted Russia is the only country which offers in-country manufacturing of the vaccine.

    Rodolfo said the embassy of Russia is also in discussions with the Department of Health and the Department of Science and Technology which lead a task force on the vaccines.
    In a presentation by Alexander Zhuravlev, senior vice president of Investment Department of Russian Direct Investment Fund to the trade department said the Russian Sputnik V is regarded as the world’s first human adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine.

    Russia plans the start of global vaccine supplies of Sputnik V next month after the launch in September of mass production and phase 3 clinical trials on over 44,000 volunteers.
    Russia eyes global supply of the vaccine of over 1 billion doses by the end of 2021.