Russia admits to lacking capacity to meet Sputnik V vaccine demand abroad

Moscow, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Russia does not have the capacity to meet international demand for the Sputnik V Covid vaccine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

“The demand for the Russian vaccine abroad is very high. It is so high that it considerably exceeds production capacity,” he said at his daily press conference.

The Russian president’s representative said that “the national vaccination campaign is our absolute priority. Total production capacity has been mobilised, working primarily for the domestic market.”

On Thursday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin reported in his blog that nearly 600,000 people have been vaccinated in the capital city since the start of the campaign, adding that the Russian medication “has proven its efficacy and safety.”

He added that “many countries have shown interest in the drug”. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has reached agreements with 27 countries in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia to officially register Sputnik V.

Peskov said Russia had proposed to other countries to produce the Russian vaccine.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told the Financial Times that Russia had signed contracts with 15 pharmaceutical companies in 10 countries, which could produce around 1.4 billion doses to vaccinate 700 million people.

This would primarily involve production in China, India, South Korea and Iran for export to other countries, while nations such as Serbia and Brazil would produce the vaccine for domestic consumption.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the leaders discussed “prospects for joint use and production of the Sputnik V vaccine” in the Central Asian nation.

Kazakhstan began production of the Russian vaccine in late December under a contract signed between the RDIF and the Kazakh Ministry of Health.

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