The government of the Brazilian state of Parana and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund have signed an agreement, paving the way for the production and distribution of the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine on Brazilian soil.
In a statement on Wednesday, the government of Brazil’s southern Parana state said that the freshly-signed deal was aimed at facilitating “technical cooperation” as well as “the transfer of technology” pertaining to Sputnik V, a brainchild of Russia’s renowned Gamalei National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
“The idea of the memorandum of understanding is to expand cooperation and establish a partnership. We are advancing in negotiations for a technology transfer,” Parana state Governor Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior said. Parana Institute of Technology (Tecpar) will be put in charge of the matter.
Describing the agreement as “a very first step” in the process that could see the Russian-made vaccine entering the Brazilian market in the not-so-distant future, Tecpar CEO Jorge Callado pointed out that the memorandum only creates a framework for Russian and Brazilian scientists to exchange data.
#RDIF and the Parana state in Brazil, have agreed to cooperate to produce and distribute the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine in Brazil, known as @sputnikvaccine. pic.twitter.com/ePnAqd3evc
The next step envisions setting up a working group, comprising Brazilian and Russian government officials, to oversee the vaccine’s certification in Brazil.
Tecpar said it expects that production of the breakthrough medicine could begin by the second half of 2021, but did not rule out that it might be imported into Brazil even prior to the production date, providing its early rollout is greenlit by the federal health regulator.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that, together with the Gamalei Institute, it would provide its Brazilian counterparts at Tecpar “with the results of the clinical trials of the vaccine and technological protocols of its production… in the near future.”
Brazil is one of five key countries ready to support the production of the Russian ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine. We are confident in the high safety and efficacy of the ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine and look forward to the approval of the vaccine by the Brazilian authorities soon
While the Western media have rushed to belittle the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, arguing that its development was “rushed,” interest in the remedy has been soaring. So far, Russia has received orders from at least 20 countries. The Philippines has become the latest nation to announce its plans to test the vaccine. On Thursday, Harry Roque, the spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, said that the country is poised to kick off phase-three clinical trials of the Russian-made vaccine in October, after reviewing the results of the phase-one and phase-two clinical trials carried out in Moscow. Roque said that Duterte might be given a shot as early as May 2021, if trials are successfully completed by April.
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