A Russian medical worker displays a trial vaccine against COVID-19 in a post-registration phase of the test at outpatient hospital number 68 in Moscow, Russia, 17 September 2020. Russia registered the new vaccine called 'Sputnik V' against Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 and opens the stage of its massive testing. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Production of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in Brazil will start in the near future, the press service of the Uniao Quimica pharmaceutical company, a partner of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told TASS.

“After raw materials from Russia arrived yesterday (January 6 – TASS), Uniao Quimica will begin producing vaccine in the next few days within the framework [of agreements] on technology transfer with the RDIF,” the company said. On Wednesday, Uniao Quimica reported that cell material for the vaccine production arrived in Brasilia, the country’s capital.

The company’s press service also reported that talks are scheduled for next week in Moscow on supplying to Brazil “a significant number of doses of Sputnik V as early as January.” “We are planning to send an emergency inquiry in the next few days since the development of the pandemic requires all sides to act quickly,” the company noted, citing an impossibility to disclose all technical and research aspects due to contractual obligations.

At the end of December, Uniao Quimica applied to the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) for a permission to conduct Phase Three clinical trials of the Russian preparation in the country. This is a prerequisite for registering any medicine in Brazil. At the same time it was reported that the production of Sputnik V will begin in January 2021 at the Uniao Quimica factories in Brasilia (Federal District) and Guarulhos (state of Sao Paulo).