Attempts are underway to launch a logistics base in the Gulf to produce Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, a Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) senior official said.
RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev told Asharq Al-Awsat that more than 50 countries have already applied for Russia’s Sputnik V, indicating a number of requests exceeding one billion doses.
“We have received initial orders for more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V from our international partners,” Dmitriev affirmed.
He pointed to supply agreements that have been concluded with Mexico for 32 million doses, with Brazil for up to 50 million doses, with India for 100 million doses, with Uzbekistan for up to 35 million doses and with Nepal for 25 million doses.
He said the Fund is holding talks with major local pharmaceutical companies in the United Arab Emirates on the vaccine production process, noting that the UAE could become the perfect logistics base to distribute the vaccine to regional countries.
“The approval of UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention is expected to help distribute the vaccine abroad.”
Phase III of the clinical trial in the UAE has also received regulatory approval from the state’s health ministry.
“We are delighted to have received approval to start the trials, and we look forward to announcing the volunteer registration process,” Dmitriev said.
According to the Russian official, the results of the UAE trial will be combined with the results of the trial in Russia and other countries.