Sputnik V vaccine to be produced in Italy, a first in the EU

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Rome | Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 will be produced in Italy from July, the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce told AFP on Tuesday, a first in the European Union, which has not yet authorized it. .

“The vaccine will be produced from July 2021 in the factories of [l’entreprise pharmaceutique italo-suisse] Adienne in Lombardy, in Caponago, near Monza, ”in northern Italy, Stefano Maggi, press advisor to Chamber of Commerce president Vincenzo Trani, said in a telephone interview.

“Ten million doses will be produced between the 1er July and 1er January 2022 ”, he said, stressing that this is the“ first agreement at European level for the production on EU territory of the Sputnik vaccine ”.

Sputnik V is not yet authorized in the European Union, but last week it took a key milestone for its deployment in this area, with the start of its review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in Amsterdam. After this announcement, the Russian authorities said they were ready to provide vaccines to 50 million Europeans from June.

Arguing that its vaccine is now validated in 46 countries, the Russian sovereign wealth fund, owner of the vaccine, again criticized the MEA on Tuesday for having “postponed for months” the validation process of Sputnik. Russia also strongly denounced Tuesday the words of an official of the EAJ, who compared the emergency authorization of the Sputnik V vaccine by certain European countries to “Russian roulette”.

Impatient in the face of a validation deemed too slow, several EU countries have also turned to vaccines not yet approved, such as Hungary, which began administering the Russian vaccine to its population last month. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have also ordered from Russia.

“If the vaccine is not authorized in Europe by 1er July 2021, the doses produced will be bought back by the Russian sovereign wealth fund and distributed in countries where the Sputnik vaccine is already authorized, ”Stefano Maggi told AFP.

First greeted with skepticism in the West, the first Russian vaccine against COVID-19 has since convinced experts, especially after the publication of results in the specialized journal The Lancet, indicating that the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine is 91.6% against symptomatic forms of the disease.

For the moment, three vaccines are authorized in the European Union: those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. A fourth, that of Johnson & Johnson, is subject to a request for authorization. In addition to Sputnik V, two others, those of Novavax and CureVac, are under review.

Contacted by AFP, the Italian Ministry of Health declined to comment on this announcement. For her part, Adienne was not immediately reachable for a comment.