BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian pharmaceutical company Uniao Quimica plans to start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 in Brazil as soon as next week and make up to 8 million doses a month, its international business director Rogerio Rosso said on Friday.
The private company, with a vaccine facility in Brasilia, is preparing to request emergency use authorization from health regulator Anvisa for the vaccine developed in Moscow.
Uniao Quimica last week requested approval to conduct Phase III clinical trials in Brazil, which is required for licensing of the vaccine in the country.
“We await Anvisa authorization to start the clinical studies here,” Rosso told Reuters.
Uniao Quimica is working with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is marketing Sputnik V worldwide, to obtain emergency use authorization that would allow the vaccine to be included in Brazil’s nation vaccination plan set to start by the end of the month.
“Next week we will start producing the vaccine. Our plan is to very quickly reach 8 million doses per month,” Rosso said.
The governments of Brazilian states of Bahia, Parana and PIaui will partner with the company in undertaking the clinical tests, he said.
RDIF has said it would like to produce the two-shot vaccine in Brazil for export to other countries in Latin America.
Argentina began vaccinating its citizens last week with imported doses of Sputnik V, the only vaccine so far being administered in that country.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)