November 24, 2020
A nurse prepares Sputnik-V vaccine for inoculation. © Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva
By RT News
More than 500 million people will be able to take the pioneering Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus next year. Its developers say the two-shot jab will be sold cheaper than those of its foreign competitors.
The drug will be produced not only in Russia but also by “leading foreign pharmaceutical companies” who agreed to cooperation deals with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Talks with additional international partners are underway to further increase production capacity.
“Sputnik V will be two or more times cheaper than mRNA vaccines with similar efficacy levels,” RDIF said in a statement.
A single dose of the Russian vaccine is going to cost $10, according to the producer, meaning it will set each person back $20 for two shots – which is still way below the price tags of US biotech firms Pfizer and Moderna, who are eyeing $39 and $50-74 for their vaccines, respectively.
Notably, it’s only foreign buyers who would need to pay up, as the Russians will be getting Sputnik V for free. International customers are scheduled to receive first shipments of the vaccine in January.
The new data announced by Moscow’s Gamaleya Center, which developed the Sputnik V formula, suggests that its vaccine is 95 percent effective. The result was based on Phase Three clinical trials that involved almost 20,000
volunteers who were administered two shots of the drug.
The competition is tough on the vaccine market, with Sputnik V facing a lot of criticism in the West since it became the world’s first registered vaccine against the virus in August. But with Covid-19 already infecting some 59.4 million and killing over 1.4 million people around the globe, Russia is eager to become a part of a global effort to stop the pandemic.
Pfizer and Moderna also reported that the effectiveness of their vaccines was at around 95 percent. Those are “very good” figures and “we have no reason to doubt” them, Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF’s CEO, told RT.
“It’s important for the world to have various vaccines. Sputnik V could be part of the countries’ vaccine package,” he pointed out.