WHO to Inspect Sputnik V Vaccine in Russia in Coming Weeks
© Sputnik / Pavel LisitsinRussia's Sputnik Light vaccine against COVID-19.
© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsin/
MOSCOW, October 21 (Sputnik) - The World Health Organization will conduct inspections of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Russia in the upcoming few weeks, Mariangela Simao, the assistant director-general of the WHO, said on Thursday.
"We haven’t received all of the submission from Sputnik V yet and let me say that the process was on hold until yesterday evening because of a legal procedure, but we still need the applicant to sign to the WHO’s rules and procedures to continue to do the assessment. It has restarted as of today so we expect that we will be able to do again the inceptions in the next few weeks" Simao told a virtual briefing.
On Wednesday, the WHO confirmed that the preliminary assessment of Sputnik V was in the final stages, and a team of inspectors would soon visit Russia.
Earlier this month, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the UN health agency could approve the Russian vaccine by the end of the year.
"There are some legal documents that need to be signed by both parties before the process [WHO review of the Russian vaccine] continues, and I think this is where we are now. The Russian authorities have assured us that these documents will be signed very soon, and as soon as this is completed ... the dossier evaluation will restart again, the dialogue will restart, and then inspections will be planned," Swaminathan said.
The vaccine's developers first applied for WHO approval in February, and the organisation conducted inspections of the Russian manufacturing facilities in May and June. In October, Moscow announced that the WHO had lifted all barriers for Sputnik V's approval.
Sputnik V is currently authorised for use in 70 countries representing a total population of four billion people, or 50 percent of the world's populace. It is the world's first registered vaccine against coronavirus and shows over 91.6% efficacy.