Russia promises to solve Sputnik V delivery delays

The makers of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V on Wednesday promised to resolve delivery delays this month after several South American countries complained to Moscow.

The delays occurred due to a "production scale up" and will be "fully resolved" in August, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that financially backs Sputnik V said in a statement.

Sputnik V will "double" its capacity in September thanks to a partnership with the world's largest vaccine producer, the Serum Institute of India, the statement said.

It added that Sputnik V has "built production partnerships with producers in 14 countries."

Several Latin American countries that have relied on the Russian vaccine to protect their populations have in recent weeks complained to Moscow about delivery delays.

Inoculation with Sputnik V requires two doses that differ from one another and cannot be swapped or mixed with other vaccines.

Guatemala last week said it cancelled its order of a second batch of eight million Sputnik vaccines due to a delivery delay of a previous order.

But in a statement to AFP, the RDIF said its contract with Guatemala has been "simply adjusted to a new delivery schedule".

"Deliveries of the vaccines to Guatemala are continuing," it said, adding that half of the vaccines will be the one-dose Sputnik Light jabs.

According to the RDIF, the overall number of doses to the Latin American country will be "less than originally" planned but "the number of people in Guatemala who will be vaccinated with Russian vaccines will stay the same."

Argentina—the first Latin American country to approve the Sputnik vaccine—also complained to Moscow about the delivery delays.

Russia registered Sputnik V last August ahead of large-scale clinical trials, prompting concern among experts over the fast-tracked process.

It has since been declared safe and over 90 percent effective in a report published by leading medical journal The Lancet, restoring confidence in Russia's jab.

The RDIF says its two-dose vaccine has been approved in 68 countries and that it has applied for registration in the European Union.

Journal information: The Lancet

© 2021 AFP

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