President Alberto Fernandez and his peer from the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will officially announce the start of production of the Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina by the Richmond laboratory, which in turn indicated that its objective is to develop some 500 thousand doses per week.

The announcement will be made today at 12.30 p.m. by videoconference and the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund will also participate, Kirill Dmitriev, reported official sources.

Fernández will participate in a virtual way, with a recorded video, and also together with Putin, in the plenary session of the 2021 Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

Local production

For his part, the president of Richmond Laboratories, Marcelo Figueiras, indicated that the current plant has the capacity to carry out the formulation and packaging of up to 500 thousand doses of Sputnik V per week, although he clarified that the production will be subject to the amount of the active principle that is sent from Russia.

“If everything goes well, the production begins next week, at this moment they are fermenting in Moscow the active principle of component 1 of the vaccine and as soon as they finish they send it here,” said Figueiras.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) notified Richmond on Wednesday that the Gamale Center had already approved the samples sent by the laboratory to Russia last April, a step that was essential for it to get underway. the production.

“If Russia sends the raw material and we manage to start next week, by the end of the month we could have the first 500 thousand doses on the street, as long as there are no delays in transport and quality controls, which are factors that do not depend on us, “said Figueiras.

The figure of 500 thousand doses is the amount that the current laboratory plant, located in the Buenos Aires province of Pilar, has the capacity to produce each week, although the amount that is finally produced will depend on the raw material that is sent from Russia.

“Once the production is finished, the quality control will be carried out both in the laboratory and in the National Institute of Medicines (Iname) of Argentina and in Gamaleya, but the manufactured doses remain here, so Argentina would save having to go to Russia to look for them, “detailed the head of Richmond.

Cecilia Nicolini, Carla Vizzotti and Marcelo Figueiras.

Along the same lines, the presidential advisor and coordinator of the Economic and Social Council, Cecilia Nicolini, estimated that Argentina would be in a position to produce the Russian Sputnik V vaccine “at the end of June or the beginning of July”, and relied on the local developments of immunization projects to be able “to begin to know results in the coming months.”

In addition, Nicolini pointed out that “there will be a substantial increase in the vaccination campaign” to “go through the winter and this pandemic as protected as possible.”

He recalled that the Gamaleya National Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of Russia “has already approved the quality control of the Sputnik V doses produced here in Richmond and sent to Russia,” for which he stressed that this progress “is a very good and very hopeful ” News.

Nicolini added that next week the active ingredients would be available to “begin the formulation and packaging of the vaccine.”

Regarding the manufacture of the Russian vaccine in Argentina, the official explained that “in a first stage it will be part of the production process and we will be receiving the active substance or active principle from Russia, and here in Argentina it will be formulated, pack and distribute “.

“Yesterday the Gamaleya Institute approved and gave its quality certificate to the batches produced in Argentina that were sent as samples to carry out these tests, and let’s hope from next week to start receiving the active principle, to start the process of production and packaging “, highlighted Nicolini.

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