Coronavirus: Egypt to produce 40 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine

Egypt is launching the production of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, with the objective of producing 40 million doses per year. This is the second vaccine that Africa’s 3rd most populous country will produce.

Egyptian pharmaceutical company Minapharm announced in a joint statement with the Russian Sovereign Fund (RDIF), its intention to produce the Russian vaccine with 40 million doses per year.

The two parties “intend to start the transfer of technology immediately,” they said in the document which reflects Moscow’s desire to internationalize the production of its vaccine, which the Westerners shunned.

The Russian Sovereign Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of the vaccine, announced at the end of March a similar agreement with China covering 60 million doses of the vaccine. The agreement was signed with the Chinese pharmaceutical firm Shenzhen Yuanxing Gene-tech.

“The agreement with Minapharm marks our first partnership in the MENA region to produce Sputnik V,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Sovereign Fund, said in the statement. A similar agreement should be concluded with Algeria, which has already announced a project to produce the Russian vaccine on its territory. The project should start in September according to the Minister of Pharmaceutical Industry Lotfi Benbahmed.

Egypt will be able to start deploying the Sputnik V vaccine as early as the “3rd quarter of 2021”, and it will be the German subsidiary of Minapharm, ProBioGen AG, will participate in “the optimization of the process to further increase production”, at the when Germany announced Thursday its intention to buy 30 million doses of the Russian vaccine.

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Egypt, the most populous country in the Middle East, has embarked in recent months on the production of vaccines. In addition to the Sputnik vaccine, Egypt plans to produce some 80 million doses of Chinese Sinovac vaccines per year in the near future.

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