President Vladimir Putin of Russia

Russian virus vaccine faces production hitches slowing rollout, says Putin

*President Vladimir Putin says ‘there are certain problems associated with the presence or absence of the necessary equipment’

*Number of daily vaccinations in Moscow down by 20% to 25%, but Health Ministry says Sputnik V Phase 3 trials ongoing

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the recent feat of producing a vaccine against the damaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Vladimir Putin has revealed that Russia is currently facing problems in its attempt to mass-produce its COVID-19 vaccine, as the number of immunisations slowed in Moscow, the country’s capital.

Putin at the VTB Capital’s Russia Calling! forum Thursday, October 29, said: “The only question now is how to ensure the required volume of industrial production.

“There are certain problems associated with the presence or absence of the necessary equipment.”

The Sputnik V vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, has run into problems ramping up production even as it is already being used for frontline workers in the country, Bloomberg report said.

In spite of this, Putin disclosed that mass inoculations of the people could begin by the end of the year.

Report revealed the number of Sputnik V vaccinations in Moscow has fallen by 20% to 25% from a peak of 1,000 a day, according to a source with knowledge of the issue who asked not to be identified because the information was not public.

Gamaleya Director Alexander Gintsburg stated that 100 volunteers are getting the first shot each day, down from 500 to 600 earlier, because of capacity restraints, while those getting the second dose has reached about 600, Interfax reported.

It is recalled that Russian authorities approved Sputnik V and another vaccine for widespread use and expect to allow a third soon, even though none of them have finished Phase 3 trials to prove they are safe and effective.

Sputnik V’s developers began testing last month and said 40,000 people will participate.

Earlier, Reuters had reported that Russia paused vaccinations of volunteers for the Sputnik V trial, citing an unidentified representative of Crocus Medical, a group that is helping run the trial in Moscow.

Crocus Medical’s Alexey Butylin denied that clinical trials of Sputnik V were suspended, saying the vaccine supply is sufficient, according to a statement distributed by RDIF. The Russian Health Ministry said Phase 3 testing, however, is continuing.

RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev said in July that Russia aimed to produce 30 million doses in 2020.

That goal was dubbed “impossible” this month by Industry Minister Denis Manturov, who said a maximum of 2.3 million doses would be made, according to report.

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