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20 Nov, 2020 07:25

Potential Covid-19 vaccine hub in Africa: Russian trade envoy says Morocco mulling Sputnik V registration

Potential Covid-19 vaccine hub in Africa: Russian trade envoy says Morocco mulling Sputnik V registration

Morocco is considering authorizing the registration and distribution of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, according to the head of Moscow’s trade mission.

Artyom Tsinamdzgvrishvili, told the TASS news agency that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had struck a deal with Moroccan pharmaceutical company Galenica to ship Sputnik V back in September. Russian and Moroccan health officials are currently discussing the option to formally register the vaccine which would allow its distribution, he added.

According to Tsinamdzgvrishvili, the number of doses that could be shipped to Morocco at the early stage of the deal would be enough to “vaccinate more than 20 percent of Morocco’s population.”

The official said Galenica owns a manufacturing network capable of distributing Sputnik V not only in Morocco but also “across the markets of other African countries where the company has longtime business ties and partners.” 

“Morocco has free trade agreements with the EU, the US, Turkey, and several Arab and African nations, so the Moroccan manufacturing plant could become a hub for the distribution of the vaccine to other countries in the region.”

Also on rt.com (WATCH) First European Union nation gets Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to fight Covid-19, as samples arrive in Budapest

Russia’s trade envoy also added that Galenica may receive the technology and start production of the vaccine on its own in the future.

Earlier this year, Russia became the first country to formally register a vaccine for Covid-19. Last week, Russian officials said that Sputnik V had shown an efficacy rate of 92 percent. 

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