RIO DE JANEIRO, February 5. /TASS/. The government of Brazil is ready to purchase 10 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, the Southern American country’s Health Ministry said on Friday.
"We will sign a contract and buy 10 million doses if the price is acceptable. The payment will be made after [Brazil’s sanitary watchdog] Anvisa approves Sputnik V for emergency use, which will help to make the vaccine immediately accessible for Brazilians," the ministry’s press service quoted first deputy minister Elcio Franco as saying in a statement.
The official also said that in future, the Brazilian government could purchase the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology and produced by pharmaceutical company Uniao Quimica, a partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
On January 15, Uniao Quimica and RDIF submitted a request to the regulator for a temporary limited use of Sputnik V in Brazil for emergency vaccination. On January 16, Anvisa rejected Uniao Quimica's application for simplified registration of the Russian vaccine as "not meeting the minimum criteria." In particular, the regulator pointed out the need for the Phase III of clinical trials of Sputnik V in Brazil. Later, Anvisa waived this requirement. The RDIF explained that this was a standard procedure for requesting additional information, which does not mean the regulator’s final refusal to register the vaccine.
In early January, Uniao Quimica received cell material to manufacture the preparation and began producing a trial batch of the vaccine’s active components for research purposes. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said on February 4 Sputnik V could be delivered to Brazil two weeks after its approval by the national regulator.