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

BERLIN, April 7. /TASS/. Bavaria, a German federal state, stays ready to acquire 2.5 million doses of Sputnik V if the Russian vaccine receives approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soeder said at a news conference on Wednesday.

A preliminary supply agreement has been drawn up and will be signed with the R-Pharm company in the Bavarian town of Illertissen on Wednesday, April 7.

“The [Bavarian] health minister has reached a preliminary agreement with the firm in Illertissen, which will be signed today. We mean the delivery of Sputnik V. Therefore, should it be authorized in Europe, Bavaria will probably receive an extra amount of doses through this firm in July. That is 2.5 million doses,” Soeder said.

According to the Bavarian prime minister, it will help the region progress in the coronavirus vaccination rollout.

In the meantime, Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek pointed out that his ministry had struck a deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on potential deliveries of the vaccine to the region.

“We have a memorandum of intent with the RDIF, which is practically the Russian government’s authorized organization to sell the vaccine, which could be manufactured in Illertissen,” he said. “I think that it will happen within a year,” Holetschek added.

“We have fixed in that memorandum that we will be able to import it too, if there is a mutual decision. The condition is, of course, that it is approved,” the minister said.

Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has already been approved for use in about 60 countries whose cumulative population exceeds 1.5 billion. Over 30 countries have already started mass vaccination with Sputnik V. The vaccine’s 91.6% efficacy was confirmed by the publication of data in The Lancet, a world-acclaimed medical journal. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on March 4 that it had started a rolling review of Sputnik V. According to an EMA representative, approval might be received by the end of May.

“We are talking about a highly effective vaccine,” Holetschek stressed adding, “I want us to obtain it at the earliest opportunity.”