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10 Mar 2021 | 11:12

Russia considers Italian facilities to make Sputnik V

(Sharecast News) - Russia is seeking to make its Sputnik V vaccine in Italy to try to cover overseas demand for the Covid-19 jab. The Russian Direct Investment Fund that oversees distribution said on Wednesday it had signed an agreement with Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Adienne to produce the vaccine at a unit located in Italy.

But before production can begin, the jab requires approval from local regulators.

If approved, the Italy manufacturing plant would be the first such partnership inside the EU, where the bloc's medical agency is reviewing the Russian vaccine for authorisation.

The RDIF told Russian state television that it had also signed deals with producers in Germany, Spain and France.

Already, the RDIF has outsourced production to factories in India, China, South Korea and Brazil.

Despite the rise in overseas demand with a growing number of countries placing orders of over 1.4bn doses, domestic demand is still relatively low as Russians snub the jab due to widespread scepticism.

Though the vaccine is available to all age groups for free, only 30% of Russians are willing to take it, according to a poll published by the independent Levada Center this month.

Over the past four months, the Kremlin fund has directed about 1.25m Sputnik V doses made in Russia to export markets, including Slovakia, Serbia, Mexico, Argentina and Hungary, said the Financial Times on Wednesday.
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