MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. The World Health Organization has been actively working with the Russian side on the approval of the Sputnik V vaccine and will send a new inspection to Russia to assess production this month, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said in an interview with TASS.
"We are further accelerating the work with the WHO and the Russian authorities on the emergency use listing of Sputnik V, which is very promising and very much needed," he said. "At this very moment in Moscow there is a mission working with the national regulatory authority. In February, there will be the next inspection visit. So, it seems that everything is back on track. It’s the usual process, there are some clarifications, but I am quite optimistic, as is also the WHO Director General, Doctor Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus]."
Kluge anticipates the early completion of the recognition process of the Russian vaccine. According to him, it is "a top priority because the world still faces huge inequities in access to vaccines."
Kluge reported that he had discussed this issue with Russia’s permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, at the session of the WHO Executive Committee, which was held from 24 to 29 January in Geneva. "We were very satisfied that the Russian [Direct] Investment Fund [provided us with] two remaining models of information by the end of last year as we had agreed," Kluge concluded.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said earlier that Moscow had referred all data to WHO on Sputnik V and expected WHO experts on an onsite verification inspection in February.