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Russia to supply Egypt with COVID-19 vaccine

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Russia has clinched a deal with Egypt to supply it with 25 million doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, as Moscow seeks to take a leading global role in fighting the pandemic.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, RDIF, said on Wednesday it had agreed to supply the vaccine doses to Egypt via Pharco, which it described as one of the country’s leading pharmaceutical groups.

“The agreement between RDIF and Pharco will help Egypt obtain an efficient and safe vaccine, Sputnik V, for almost 25% of its population,” RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev said in a statement.

The deal follows earlier agreements with Mexico for 32 million doses, with Brazil for up to 50 million doses, India with 100 million doses, as well as Uzbekistan and Nepal, RDIF said.

Russian regulators licensed the vaccine for domestic use in early August after initial, small-scale human trials. It is currently being tested on 40,000 people in Russia in a trial that launched on Aug. 26.

Separately on Wednesday, the RIA news agency cited Russian consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying that Russia has completed clinical trials of a second potential COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute.

The institute completed early-stage human trials, known as Phase II, earlier this month. 

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