Thanks to Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Philippines is highly likely to become Asia’s production hub for their Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
According to the fund’s chief executive, Kirill Dmitriev, their company is nearly finished with negotiations for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in the country. They are eyeing to start production in three to four months. Dmitriev also said that they are in talks with two producers, which they hope to wrap up soon.
“We are very much committed to delivering vaccines in April. The exact schedule we are still finalizing with the government,” the CEO said, calling the country a ‘great priority’ in the jab’s delivery.
The plan to launch a production hub in the Philippines, Dmitriev explained, followed what he called a “Russian model” of equipping nations with the ability to manufacture vaccines on their own, instead of relying on other countries that “try to control all the technology and basically give fill and finish.”
“We have done it already in India, China and Korea,” he said. “We want to do it in the Philippines.”
Dmitriev also disclosed the existence of an ongoing experiment to produce Sputnik V in powder form that can be administered in a single shot, much like Johnson’s & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine.
The inoculation of high-risk individuals such as healthcare personnel, he added, had already shown a marked decrease in Covid19 infections.
The Sputnik V vaccine was previously given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. It exhibited strong efficacy, immunogenicity and safety in an interim analysis of a phase III clinical trial. Its efficacy was reported to be at 91.6%.