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  • Covid-19 The Sputnik V vaccine to the rescue of Europe: large caliber, but little ammunition

Russia already has almost tied up the production of its vaccine in Europe.

The head of RDIF-Russia, the Russian sovereign wealth fund that promotes the Sputnik V vaccine, announced today that his organization has reached

agreements with companies to manufacture the Russian vaccine in Spain, France, Italy and Germany

. Kirill Dimitriev, head of RDIF, did not offer more details but commented on the signing of a commercial agreement with a pharmaceutical company to produce the vaccine in

Italy, q

EU will be the first EU country to manufacture Sputnik V

In Spain, the IberAtlantic company is in the process of negotiating with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the

Zendal biopharmaceutical


They have long been seeking an agreement to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine in the

laboratories of this corporation in Galicia

, as published by the Russian agency Sputnik.

Zendal is the only company that has authorization

to produce vaccines for human use within Spain, and

already has a contract to produce Novavax's anti-Covid antigen


In fact, it already produces the Novavax vaccine while it awaits its imminent authorization, according to information from the company itself. Zendal avoided confirming the conversations with the Russians: "All our negotiations, if any, are confidential," a spokeswoman told THE WORLD.

When the Russians close the agreement with the chosen Spanish company, a bureaucratic process and transfer of technical knowledge will begin, which is more complex in the case of a vaccine than in the case of an antibiotic.

closed the Novavax contract in October and the first dose manufacturing started between December and January


This gives an idea of ​​how long it could take for Sputnik to come out in Spain, although the company warns that "each vaccine is different." The Zendal company is immersed in several projects related to vaccines against Covid-19.

At the moment the most important project is the contract to manufacture the antigen (the active part of the vaccine) for Novavax, which is in phase 3 of tests and which

will surely be the next to receive the green light from the EMA

, after entering last month in the evaluation process of this regulator.

"Weekly batches of 1,000 liters of antigen are being manufactured. It has not yet left our facilities, but everything is going according to plan," explains the company.

Part of the manufacturing of the 200 million doses committed for the entire European Union will be done in

Porriño (Pontevedra)

In addition, Zendal works with two CSIC vaccines, dealing with manufacturing for clinical trials.

It also collaborates with the CEPI alliance, which promotes

Covax mechanism

for equitable global access to vaccines in countries of different degrees of development.

To conquer the EU

Russia, which already sells its vaccine to two community partners - Hungary and Slovakia - thus makes another advance in the EU thanks to an agreement signed by the

RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund)

and the company

Adienne Pharma & Biotech

, based in Switzerland.

As reported on Tuesday by the

Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce

on its website, the signed agreement foresees the production of some

10 million doses of the vaccine before the end of 2021


Local production should start next July, according to agency sources. "The agreement could be defined as a historic event that proves the good bilateral relations between our countries and shows that Italian companies can go beyond political differences" said the president of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Vincenzo Trani.

According to the Russian agency Sputnik, Trani added that "having a safe and accessible vaccine is a priority for all countries that fight to ensure the well-being of their citizens, for the efficiency of the health service and for the stabilization of the economic system."

The Italian official believes that this decision will allow,

in addition to creating new jobs, fully controlling the production process

A week ago it was Dimitriev who told France-24 that he hopes his vaccine "is not political" and that expanding its use would be

"one of the apolitical bridges that Russia and Europe can have"


An official at the French Economy Ministry said today that France does not have enough industrial capacity to produce the Russian vaccine, according to the outlet.

The Tribune

The announcement comes shortly after the head of the board of directors of the

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

, Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, say that what Hungary, which already runs Sputnik V, is doing is

"play Russian roulette" because it is not known if this product is safe and effective


"I strongly advise against the approval of an emergency authorization," concluded Wirthumer-Hoche, asking for more time until the vaccine receives the green light.

Russia has reacted by questioning the neutrality of the EMA and has asked for an official apology. The EMA will review the results of Sputnik V with European Union standards and make recommendations based solely on scientific data, an EMA spokesperson told the agency. Russian Sputnik on Tuesday afternoon.

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