MINSK, May 13. /TASS/. Belarus plans to purchase and manufacture domestically Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccine. Plans are also in store to launch the full production cycle of the Sputnik V vaccine this coming fall, Belarusian Health Minister Dmitry Pinevich said in an interview the SB Belarus Segodnya newspaper published on Thursday.
"I believe that we will not only purchase that vaccine [Sputnik Light], but we will also be able to manufacture it. We need to read the papers thoroughly, but, as far as I understand, it requires a single shot and is allowed for use for people aged between 18 and 40. However, this is not a matter for tomorrow. The drug will enter civil circulation only in 2022," he said.
According to the minister, the full production cycle of the Sputnik V vaccine will be launched at the Belmedpreparaty pharmaceutical enterprise in October. "Our Russian counterparts will only provide the technology, while all components will be Belarusian. We plan to start on October 1," he explained.
Pinevich added that Belarus would receive another batch of the Chinese vaccine Vero Cell from the Sinopharm pharmaceutical corporation - 300,000 doses for 150,000 people. "The Vero Cell vaccine will arrive at the end of May. We will not produce it, but we receive different proposals from our Chinese partners regarding other types of vaccines. The study is underway," he said.
On October 1, 2020, Belarus began inoculation of volunteers with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine as part of post-registration trials. Belarus became the first country after Russia to register the vaccine. The joint production of Sputnik V, which is currently used to inoculate the population, has been launched in Belarus. Also, Belarus has been using a vaccine from China’s Sinopharm for inoculation. Another batch is expected to arrive in the country as humanitarian aid from the Chinese government.