Turkey to begin producing Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

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Turkey will begin producing Sputnik V, Russia’s vaccine against COVID-19, in the coming months, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced in a statement on Monday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The vaccine will be produced at plants owned by Turkish pharmaceutical company Viscoran Ilac, the RDIF said in a statement.

“RDIF and the Turkish pharmaceutical company Viscoran Ilac announced cooperation for the production of the world’s first registered vaccine against the coronavirus, Sputnik V, in the country.

“Viscoran Ilac has made preparations for the localization of production and plans to start production of Sputnik V in the coming months at several facilities,” the statement said.

RDIF added that it is also finalizing the transfer of production technology with another Turkish company — CinnaGen Ilac — and is negotiating with two more production platforms aiming to expand the capacity of Sputnik V production.

RDIF added that the vaccine produced in Turkey is intended both for local use and export to third countries.

On April 22 Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced Turkey would soon begin administering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

Turkey has so far mainly used the CoronaVAC vaccine, developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, for mass vaccinations.

Minister Koca announced that Turkey has so far administered 20 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine and is left with only 8 million doses. The minister criticized the Chinese company for not fulfilling its promises regarding the delivery of the CoronaVAC vaccines.

Turkey also received 3 million doses of the vaccine developed by the German biotechnology company BionTech and US pharma giant Pfizer.

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