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Approval of Sputnik V vaccine by WHO imminent -- expert

The authorization of Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine by the World Health Organization (WHO) is inevitable, Alexander Gintsburg, Director of Russia's Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the vaccine, said in an interview with the Serbian daily Politika, published on Wednesday.

"The Gamaleya Center is not directly involved in the registration process at the WHO and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as the Russian Health Ministry is in charge. As far as we know, all the required documents have already been submitted, and we are expecting a final review soon. We are sure that the registration of our vaccine is imminent, as the efficacy and safety of Sputnik V is a scientific fact confirmed by more than 20 publications in the world's leading medical journals. The adenovirus platform, which our vaccine uses, has been studied for more than 30 years and is absolutely safe, as it has no serious side effects, such as myocarditis, the inflammation of the heart muscle, which are associated with some other vaccine platforms," Gintsburg said.

Gintsburg hailed the collaboration with Serbia on the deliveries and production of Sputnik V.

"We are extremely proud of our cooperation with Serbia, in particular with the Torlak Institute. Serbia was one of the first nations in the world to use the Sputnik V vaccine, and was among the first to start manufacturing [it]," he said.

"We know that talks about the Sputnik Light production in Serbia are underway, but it is too early to disclose specific details. This one-dose version of Sputnik V is rapidly gaining global recognition. We are certain that the Torlak Institute will be able to make a significant contribution to its global production," he added.

Earlier, Serbian Innovation and Technological Development Minister Nenad Popovic told TASS that Serbia would ink an agreement with Russia to purchase one million doses of Sputnik Light. In addition, Popovic said that Serbia would seek to start production of that vaccine along with the nasal spray form of Sputnik V inside the country.

On June 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic launched production of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V at Belgrade's Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera 'Torlak.' Serbia is currently packaging the Russian vaccine and will launch full-scale production by the end of the year.

[Source: Tass, Belgrade, 09Feb22]

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