Vietnam produces first batch of Sputnik V vaccine

A medical worker administers a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Gostinny Dvor, a huge exhibition place in Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 12, 2021. Russia has been facing a sharp rise of contagions in recent weeks, with daily new infections increasing from around 9,000 in early June to over 25,000 on Friday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Vietnam pharmaceutical company Vabiotech announced Wednesday the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine produced for COVID-19 in Vietnam.

The first validation samples from the batch were delivered to Gamaleya Center in Russia for quality control, the Fund and the company said in a joint statement first reported by Reuters.

The announcement comes as the Southeast Asian country struggles with its worst outbreak to date. Vietnam has recorded a total of 68,177 infections and 370 deaths.

The Health Ministry reported 5,357 new infections on Wednesday, up from 4,795 cases on Tuesday. Despite containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam is now facing its worst outbreak ever. Infections reach record levels every day, increasing pressure on the government to secure supplies and speed up vaccinations. 

A Vabiotech executive told Vietnamese state media that quality controls had resulted in a batch of 30,000 doses being available within 30 days. Vietnam Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Thanh said last month that the company would begin packing the vaccine, which has a monthly capacity of five million doses, in July.