Russia to provide Pakistan additional 150,000 doses of Sputnik vaccine

Russia will provide Pakistan additional 150,000 doses of its Sputnik V vaccine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Wednesday.

Lavrov, who arrived in Islamabad for a two-day visit on Tuesday, addressed a joint press conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“Russia has provided 50,000 doses to Pakistanis so far, adding that additional 150,000 doses will be provided soon,” the Russian minister said.

“We realise that the demand in Pakistan is more and we have to see our production capacity,” he said. The foreign minister said that Russia has already signed production agreements with countries such as India and Belarus. “We want to meet Pakistan’s needs but we are bound by our contractual obligations to other countries.”

Russia is fairly advance in healthcare, Qureshi remarked. The vaccine produced by it has shown good results. “The people here like and are feeling confident about it.”

We have already expressed our interest in the commercial purchase of the vaccine but we would be keen to discuss with Russia the ways to facilitate local production, he added.

Private hospitals administer Sputnik vaccine

Private hospitals in Karachi started administering Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to the general population on April 1.

A total of 50,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine reached Pakistan on
March 18. They were imported by the pharmaceutical firm, AGP
Limited. The firm has distributed the doses to private hospitals.

Last week, the Sindh High Court allowed the sale of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

What you need to know about Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine 

  • Sputnik is named after the first Soviet satellite sent into space in 1957
  • It has been approved in 56 countries so far
  • Research shows it has an efficacy of 91.6%
  • The vaccine has two doses given 21 days apart
  • It contains two different harmless adenovirus vectors (common cold virus)
  • It can be stored at fridge temperatures from 2°C to 8°C
  • Internationally, one dose of the vaccine costs less than $10 (Rs1,535)

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