Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned the potential of collectively producing coronavirus vaccines in a telephone name, the Kremlin mentioned Tuesday.
“Issues of cooperation in combating the coronavirus pandemic were discussed with an emphasis on the possible prospects for joint production of vaccines,” the Kremlin mentioned in a press release.
The Kremlin added that an settlement was reached to “continue contacts on the issue” between the 2 international locations’ well being ministries and specialised companies.
The two leaders additionally mentioned the settlement of the battle between Kiev and pro-Russian separatist forces in jap Ukraine, that has largely remained at a standstill since peace accords have been signed in 2015.
Both Russia and Germany have just lately began mass vaccination drives at residence to curb the unfold of the coronavirus and keep away from reimposing nationwide lockdowns.
While Germany is utilizing the vaccine collectively developed by Pfizer and the Mainz-based firm BioNtech, Russia has put into mass circulation its do-it-yourself jab — Sputnik V.
Russia introduced the registration of Sputnik — named after the Soviet-era satellite tv for pc — in August, earlier than the beginning of large-scale medical trials, elevating considerations over the fast-tracked process.
Some critics have described it as a instrument to bolster Russia’s geopolitical affect.
Russia began a mass vaccination drive in early December, making the jab first accessible to high-risk teams together with medics, academics and the aged.
Alexander Gintsburg, the director of the state-run Gamaleya analysis centre that developed Sputnik, on Tuesday mentioned that over 1 million folks in Russia have obtained the jab thus far.
Moscow additionally despatched batches of its vaccine to Belarus, Serbia and Argentina and introduced that 2.6 million doses can be equipped to Bolivia however acknowledged that it was battling manufacturing capability.
In one other signal of recognition for the Sputnik jab that has been considered with scepticism by the West, British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca in December introduced a medical trial programme that will use a mixture of its vaccine and the Russian one.
Both use the adenovirus vectors, though it stays unclear when these assessments will go forward.
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