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11 Jan, 2021 15:16

Palestine approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine ahead of others in Middle East

Palestine approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine ahead of others in Middle East

The State of Palestine has become the first Middle Eastern country to approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for coronavirus, one day after Algeria became the first African country to do the same.

The registration of Sputnik V was carried out under emergency-use authorization without additional clinical trials in Palestine, said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which finances the development of the vaccine.

The same procedure was used in Algeria on Sunday, as well as in Argentina, Bolivia and Serbia, where vaccination using the Russian shots is already underway.

Also on rt.com Algeria becomes first African nation to approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

Doses of Sputnik V will be delivered to Palestine in the first quarter of the year, with the first shipment expected within a month, according to the RDIF. The vaccine will be produced by the fund’s partners in India, China, South Korea and other countries.

“We’re glad that after Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, Sputnik V will also be represented in the Middle East,” RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said. A joint victory against the coronavirus can only be achieved by “providing access to effective and safe vaccines for an increasing number of countries and their residents,” he pointed out.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority said that it was also expecting to receive the vaccine from UK drugmaker, AstraZeneca, in March. Palestine, which has so far seen more than 147,000 infections and over 1,600 deaths related to Covid-19, has been blaming Israel for neglecting its duty to make vaccines available in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza.   

Also on rt.com Brazil to begin production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine this week

Israel is currently carrying out the world’s largest immunization campaign with US-made Pfizer shots, but Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said last month that Palestinians can count on getting extra doses only after Israel makes sure it has enough vaccines for its own population.

Sputnik V, which this August became the first vaccine against Covid-19 to be registered in the world, has shown efficacy of 91.4 percent overall as well as 100 percent effectiveness in preventing severe cases of disease during the final stage of trials.

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