Vietnam produces first batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine

by Reuters
Wednesday, 21 July 2021 12:59 GMT

(Recasts, adds details and updates infection and death figures)

MOSCOW/HANOI, July 21 (Reuters) - Vietnam has produced the first test batch of Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund and Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm Vabiotech said on Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak so far.

The first validation samples taken from the batch will be shipped to the Gamaleya Center in Russia for quality control checks, the fund and the company said in a joint statement.

After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam is facing its worst outbreak, with a surge in daily infections to record levels adding to pressure on the government to shore up supplies and accelerate inoculations.

The Ministry of Health reported 5,357 new infections on Wednesday, up from 4,795 cases on Tuesday. The country has recorded 68,177 infections and 370 deaths overall.

A Vabiotech executive told Vietnam's state media on Wednesday that the quality check result of the batch of 30,000 doses would be available within 30 days.

Vietnam's health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said last month Vabiotech would begin packaging Russian vaccines from July, with a monthly capacity of five million doses. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov in Moscow and James Pearson in Hanoi; Editing by Toby Chopra, William Maclean)

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