Russia plans to produce Sputnik V vaccine in southern Germany

Dozens of Russian athletes have been tested positive for meldonium which was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from this year. (Sputnik Photo)
(Sputnik Photo)

dpa/GNA – Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm plans to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine developed in Moscow in the southern German state of Bavaria starting as early as June.

“We are making every effort so that (production) can start in the summer,” R-Pharm executive Alexander Bykov told dpa, adding that the lab in the Bavarian town of Illertissen was already equipped and would be able to produce millions of doses each month.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not yet given the vaccine its formal approval for use in the European Union.

“We are waiting for the decision of the EMA because that is the legal basis we need to start production,” said Bykov.

EU member states could then be supplied with Sputnik V from Illertissen. Two EMA inspections are planned in Russia in April.

At an event in Moscow on German-Russian cooperation in pharmaceuticals, EU health expert Jerome Lepeintre said that EMA approval of the preparation was not expected until June or July.

Sputnik V was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. The vaccine was initially treated with scepticism abroad as it had not completed final phase 3 clinical trials.

It has since been approved in more than 50 countries and is distributed internationally by the state direct investment fund RDIF.

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