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Brazilian state to test Russia's vaccine, eyes buying 50 million doses

The Brazilian state of Bahia has signed an agreement to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 and plans to buy 50 million doses to market in Brazil, officials have said.

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The Russian vaccine is being developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which last month entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine.

Russia will sell up to 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik-V, to Brazil's Bahia State, RDIF said in a statement

Governor Rui Costa said an agreement was signed this week to undertake the trials and Bahia will receive an initial 500 doses as soon as Brazil's health regulator Anvisa approves the protocol for testing.

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There are currently 4,300 doses of Merck’s V920 vaccine in Geneva, held by the WHO, the company told STAT in an email. Merck has given its permission for that stock to be used in DRC.

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First supplies are due to start in November pending approval by Brazil regulators "with the consideration of results of post-registration trials", RDIF added.
Russia has touted Sputnik as the first vaccine against coronavirus to be registered in the world, even though Phase III trials have yet to be completed.

A Phase III trial is a large-scale one involving thousands of people - in Russia, 40,000 - over a longer stretch of time.

If the trials that are expected to start in October are successful, Bahia will look to market the Russian vaccine in Brazil through its pharmaceutical research center Bahiafarma, said Fabio Vilas-Boas Pinto, Bahia state Health Secretary.

Brazil is the world's third-hardest-hit country by coronavirus, with more than million confirmed cases.


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