Coronavirus: Russia plans to produce 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine a month
Large-scale testing of the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya institute, is due to start in Russia next week.
Moscow: Russia expects to produce between 1.5 million and 2 million doses per month of its potential coronavirus vaccine by the year end, gradually ramping up production to 6 million doses a month, the RIA news agency cited Industry minister Denis Manturov as saying on Sunday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced that his country has developed the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, which works "quite effectively" and forms a "stable immunity" against the disease.
Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the RDIF. The vaccine has not been tested in Phase 3 or larger clinical trials.
Large-scale testing of the COVID-19 vaccine is due to start in Russia next week.
The Sputnik V vaccine consists of two shots that use different versions of adenoviruses — virus types, some of which cause the common cold — that the manufacturers have engineered to carry the gene for the surface protein of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
However, on August 15 had produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine, after President Vladimir Putin announced it had been first in the world to approve a vaccine.
“The first batch of the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute has been produced,” the health ministry had said on August 15. The vaccine is called Sputnik V.
The development came even as the total number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 23-million mark globally. The disease has claimed more than 807,000 lives so far.
Russia’s caseload is fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.
Meanwhile, health officials and world leaders have criticised Russia for releasing the vaccine in haste, by rushing through the first two phases of clinical trials. Responding to Putin’s claim, a spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said a few weeks back that “rigorous review” and assessment of the vaccine was needed before the global health body could recommend the use of the Russian vaccine, AFP reported.