A Vietnamese firm is expected to begin negotiating with Russia to produce five million Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses per month as soon as quality assessment of its first test batch is completed.
VABIOTECH, a state-owned firm managed by the Ministry of Health, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Wednesday issued a press release regarding the production of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam.
VABIOTECH finished manufacturing a test batch of 30,000 Sputnik V doses three weeks ago, 10,000 of which have been sent to the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia for quality accreditation.
If the vaccine doses meet all quality requirements, the Vietnamese firm will officially negotiate a contract with Russia to manufacture five million doses of Sputnik V per month, according to Do Tuan Dat, chairman of VABIOTECH.
Most of these vaccine shots will be exported at the request of Russia, but Vietnam will keep a certain percentage of each batch for use in the National Expanded Program on Immunization.
Sputnik V has been registered in 68 countries, with Russia stating that the efficacy of the vaccine is 97.6 percent.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health approved the vaccine for emergency use on March 23.
The Southeast Asian country has finished negotiating the purchase of 20 million doses of Sputnik V, but the arrival dates of the jabs have yet to be announced.
The vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius, thus it does not require investment in cold chain infrastructure.
Each shot of Sputnik V costs under US$10.
Vietnam has documented 71,144 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday afternoon, with 11,971 recoveries and 370 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country has registered 67,473 local infections in 61 provinces and cities since April 27.
More than 4.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in Vietnam since March 8, with 324,955 having completed the two-dose regimen.