Russia to supply UNICEF with Sputnik V doses for 110 million people

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Russia has signed an agreement to supply the U.N. children’s fund UNICEF with enough doses of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for 110 million people, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets the shot abroad, announced.

Procurement and delivery of the vaccine is subject to Sputnik V receiving an emergency use listing from the World Health Organisation, a decision the RDIF said was expected soon.

Russia, which has approved four vaccines for domestic use, has signed export deals for millions of doses of Sputnik V but take up has been relatively sluggish at home, with some regions complaining the vaccination process is not going fast enough.

Russia’s health minister said on Thursday that Russia had administered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to almost 17 million people, out of a population of some 145 million.

The RDIF said it would hold a separate discussion with the GAVI vaccine alliance to see Sputnik V considered for inclusion in the international COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.

Photo: Airport personnel unload the boxes with the Sputnik V vaccines at the Maiquetia International Airport, near Caracas, Venezuela. EPA-EFE/RAYNER PEÑA