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7 Jul, 2021 13:08

US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson wants to strike deal to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to Russia, company rep reveals

US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson wants to strike deal to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to Russia, company rep reveals

With inoculation against Covid-19 ramping up in Russia, a representative from pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has revealed that the company wants to cooperate with Moscow and agree on a deal to supply its vaccine.

Speaking to Russian news agency TASS, a spokeswoman for Janssen – the Belgian pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson – explained that the company is committed to ensuring “global access to a single-component vaccine candidate as part of emergency measures to combat the pandemic and not for profit.”

Unlike the majority of Covid-19 vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V and the Western Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, the Johnson & Johnson shot is injected just once, instead of twice.

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“We will work with all interested parties to supply our single-component candidate coronavirus vaccine to the Russian and CIS markets, after all necessary steps such as local clinical trials and authorization,” Janssen representative Marea Feinberg said.

The news comes a day after Russian Minister for Health Mikhail Murashko reported that several foreign drug manufacturers have applied for registration of their Covid-19 vaccines in Russia.

As things stand, the only vaccines approved by Moscow are Russian-made. The most well-known, Sputnik V, has been registered in more than 60 countries around the world. The others are EpiVacCorona, CoviVac and Sputnik Light.

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On Wednesday, British science journal Nature published a new analysis of Sputnik V, declaring that its high efficacy has been demonstrated.

“Evidence from Russia and many other countries now suggests it is safe and effective,” the article says.

Despite evidence of the vaccine’s usefulness, it is yet to be approved by either the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Both agencies are currently conducting reviews of the jab. Last month, the WHO published a report after inspections carried out at four pharmaceutical enterprises, outlining some minor concerns. All the complaints have been addressed and fixed, the Kremlin later confirmed.

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