Vietnam in talks to produce Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine: Media

Vietnam has administered around one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine since March. PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (REUTERS) - A research centre under Vietnam's Health Ministry is in talks with Russia to produce the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in the country, local media reported on Saturday (May 22).

The Russian partner would initially transfer semi-finished products along with instructions to the Health Ministry's Polyvac Centre to produce around 50 million doses a year, online newspaper VnExpress reported, without identifying the partner.

An official at Polyvac confirmed to Reuters that the talks were under way, but declined to give further details.

In a later stage, Polyvac would produce the vaccine from scratch, the report said, citing an unnamed Polyvac source.

The report said Vietnam was also in talks to buy the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine from Russia for domestic use before any domestic production of the shot.

In March, Vietnam approved Sputnik V for use against Covid-19. This was the second coronavirus shot to be approved in the South-east Asian country, after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The country has administered around one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine since it began its vaccination campaign in early March. It has received about 2.6 million doses, mostly through the Covax vaccine-sharing facility.

Vietnam's Finance Ministry said this week that it planned to set up a 25.2 trillion dong (S$1.45 billion) fund to acquire 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for its population.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.