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Coronavirus vaccine: China and India sign major deal to produce Russia’s Sputnik V jab

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President Putin also said during a video summit that the Russian Direct Investment Fund made deals with Brazil and India on collaboration in the third phase of Sputnik V vaccine trials. It comes after early results of the Russian vaccine suggest it could be 92 percent effective.

Mr Putin said: “The Russian Direct Investment Fund has signed agreements with Indian and Brazilian partners to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine.

“And with pharmaceutical companies in China and India to open centres for the production of Russian vaccines in these countries, not only for their own needs, but also for third countries.”

The Russian leader insisted the current aim is to make the jabs available to the public.

He added: “It is very important to combine efforts to mass produce these products in a wide civil circulation.”

Russia’s initial vaccine results came after Pfizer and BioNTech said their jab could prevent 90 percent of people getting coronavirus based on a study of 43,500 people.

The Sputnik V data was based on 20 cases of COVID-19 from 16,000 volunteers.

But some experts warned that Russia’s results were rushed out too early.

In a statement Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Whilst encouraging, I worry that these data have been rushed out on the back of the Pfizer/BioNtech announcement earlier in the week.

“The Sputnik data are based on only 20 cases of COVID-19 in the trial participants, compared to more than 90 cases in the earlier trial.”

In August, Russia became the world’s first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sputnik V was developed by the Russian-based Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund has been investing in the vaccine and its promotion abroad.

In October, Russia registered another vaccine labeled EpiCoronaVac preoduced by Vector Research Centre.

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When the early data was released Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute, said in a statement: “The interim results of the post-registration clinical trials that convincingly demonstrate Sputnik V vaccine’s efficacy gives way to mass vaccination in Russia against COVID-19 in the coming weeks.”

Mr Putin previously revealed that his daughter had tested a Russian COVID-19 vaccine on herself.

The Sputnik V vaccine name is a reference to the 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the Soviet Union.

During the summit on Tuesday, Mr Putin called on the BRICS countries, Brazil India, China and South Africa, to come together to develop the vaccines.

He said: “We believe it is important to speed up the establishment of the centre for development and research of BRICS vaccines, which we agreed to do two years ago, upon the initiative of our South African friends.”

The summit was attended by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China’s President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

So far the coronavirus has infected more than 55 million across the globe according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

In total over 1.3 million people have died from the virus around the world.

India has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases with 8,874,290 behind the US.

While Brazil has the second highest number of deaths related to the virus with 166,014.

America is still the worst hit country across the globe with the highest number of registered cases and deaths.

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