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Sputnik V: Russia announces more deals to produce its vaccine in the European Union

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A health worker prepares to administer a shot of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary.
A health worker prepares to administer a shot of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary.   -   Copyright  Gyorgy Varga/MTI via AP
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Russia says it has reached new agreements to produce the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in more EU countries.

Deals have been reached with companies in Spain, France, and Germany pending its approval in the EU, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

But ministers in each country have told AFP news agency they are not aware of any deals, and a spokesperson for the IDT Biologika laboratory in Germany said the company were "still at the stage of discussions".

"Currently there are additional talks ongoing to boost production in the EU," the fund's head, Kirill Dmitriev, said in a statement.

"This will allow us to start supplying Sputnik V to the European single market once the approval is granted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)."

Last week, the Italian-Swiss pharmaceutical company Adienne in Lombardy announced the first production agreement to make the Sputnik V vaccine from July.

The RDIF, which financed the development of the vaccine, has not named the companies in France, Germany, and Spain it has reached agreements with.

Sputnik V is not yet authorised in the European Union, but the EMA has begun a rolling review based on results from laboratory studies and clinical studies in adults.

Following the announcement, the Russian authorities said they were ready to provide vaccines to 50 million Europeans from June.

In addition, Dmitriev said that Russia was also ready to "start supplying those EU countries that had authorised Sputnik V independently", such as Hungary.

"Since the start of the fight against the pandemic, the RDIF has been in favour of active coordination with all partners, including from Europe, and open to negotiations," he added.

The Sputnik V jab was initially greeted with scepticism in Europe after it was unveiled in the summer of 2020 after limited clinical tests.

But a study published in the scientific medical journal, The Lancet, has shown that the vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Last week, Russia questioned the neutrality of the EMA after a senior official urged EU member states not to use the Sputnik V vaccine yet.

The development of the vaccine was entrusted to state institutions and is celebrated in Moscow as a historic success for President Vladimir Putin's Russia.