Russia to provide Sputnik V vaccine to Algeria and Bolivia | News on the coronavirus pandemic

Sputnik V, named after the Soviet satellite that started the space race, will be sold on the international market for less than $ 10 a dose.

Russia has signed contracts to supply Bolivia and Algeria with its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, announced the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Wednesday that the deal would allow more than 20% of Bolivia’s population to access the vaccine, which is given in two doses.

The supply would be facilitated by the Russian fund’s international partners in India, China, South Korea and other countries.

The population of Bolivia is 11.35 million and 20 percent is estimated to be 2.27 million.

The development marks the South American nation’s first major vaccine deal.

Bolivian President Luis Arce said Russia would send 6,000 doses, or 3,000 treatments, in January to immunize its most vulnerable populations, 1.7 million doses by the end of March and the rest “between April and May “.

In another international agreement, the RDIF, which finances the vaccine, announced Thursday that it had signed an agreement to supply Algeria with Sputnik V. However, the RDIF did not specify the number of doses agreed.

Algeria announced that it plans to start its vaccination campaign in January and that vaccines will be free for its citizens.

The Sputnik V vaccine is 91.4% effective in protecting people against COVID-19, based on the results of late-stage intermediate trials.

The deal with Bolivia is the latest sign that the Russian vaccine is making inroads in Latin American countries keen to increase their vaccination capacities, including neighboring Argentina and Venezuela.

On Monday, Reuters news agency reported that Russia’s first large international shipment of its vaccine last week – 300,000 doses sent to Argentina – consisted of only the first dose, which is easier to manufacture than the second.

To date, more than 50 countries have requested more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V, according to the RDIF.

The wealth fund has already announced supply agreements with Mexico for 32 million doses; Brazil up to 50 million doses; India for 100 million doses, Uzbekistan for up to 35 million doses and Nepal for 25 million doses, according to its website.

Unlike most other COVID-19 vaccines, which are given as two injections of the same product, Sputnik V relies on two doses given using different inactive viruses, called vectors.

Each dose is based on different viral vectors that normally cause the common cold.

Earlier this month at his annual marathon press conferenceRussian President Vladimir Putin referred to the idea of ​​the single-dose option as a “light vaccine” which would offer less protection than the two doses, but “will still reach 85%” of effectiveness.

Sputnik V, named after the Soviet satellite that started the space race, will be sold on the international market for less than $ 10 a dose.

For Russian citizens, vaccination will be free.

In comparison, the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna cost around $ 20 and $ 33 per dose, respectively, while the one from Oxford-AstraZeneca is available at a much cheaper price of around $ 4 per dose.

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