BEIRUT, August 1. /TASS/. Arwan Pharmaceutical Industries Lebanon and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) plan to sign an agreement next week to produce Russia’s Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine in Lebanon, the company’s Vice President Ruwayda Dham has told TASS.
The ceremony of signing, due on on Tuesday, August 3, will also be attended by Lebanon’s acting Industry Minister Imad Hoballah and acting Health Minister Hamad Hassan, who will arrive to Moscow on August 2.
"The production of the Russian vaccine will be launched at Arwan’s production facility in the city of Jadra south of Beirut," Dham said.
In her words, Lebanese President Michel Aoun "strongly supports this project."
Dham said the Lebanese company requested RDIF to consider the possibility of producing Sputnik V in Lebanon back in March.
"We provided the required technical documents and contacted with experts of the Gamaleya Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology," she said, adding that Arwan plans to produce over 30 million doses of the vaccine annually.
"Our company has already received requests for the Russian vaccine from neighboring states, such as Syria, Iraq and Egypt. Therefore, output can be increased in the future," the official said.
On February 5, the expert committee of the Lebanese Healthcare Ministry approved the emergency use listing of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus infection. On March 7, Lebanon’s interim Healthcare Minister Hamad Hasan reported that the government had granted permission to Lebanese private companies to conduct talks with pharmaceutical companies producing vaccines against the coronavirus infection. According to him, rights were granted to 20 local enterprises with 13 of them planning to sign contracts with Russia.
The inoculation drive against the coronavirus infection with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was launched in Lebanon on March 30. Chairman of the Lebanese-Russian Business Council Jacques Sarraf told TASS that the private medical sector cooperated with the government in fighting the pandemic. The first shots were administered to employees of the state-owned Middle East Airlines.