Algeria is going to vaccinate its population against the new coronavirus with Sputnik V after the Russian drug received official approval from the North African country’s health authorities.
A registration certificate for Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine was shared by the country’s Ministry of Pharmaceutical Industry on Facebook. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which finances the development of the vaccine, also confirmed the news, saying that it was approved under the emergency use authorization.
Algiers and Moscow inked a deal for Sputnik V shortly before the New Year. The supplies of Russian vaccine “will help protect the population and support the full recovery of economic activity” in Algeria, RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev noted.
This makes Algeria the first country on the African continent to approve the use of the Russian vaccine in its immunisation campaign against the deadly virus. Algeria, which has so far recorded more than 102,000 infections and some 2,800 deaths attributed to the coronavirus, earlier announced plans to begin vaccination sometime in January. The shots are going to be free for the population.
The initial shipment of the Russian vaccine will include 500,000 doses, according to Abdelaziz Fayed, the head of Algeria’s Finance Ministry. This will allow 250,000 people to be immunised, as the course of Sputnik V requires two shots.
In August, Sputnik V became the first vaccine against the coronavirus to be registered anywhere in the world after receiving emergency approval from the Russian Health Ministry. The final results of Phase III clinical trials have shown that the drug had an overall efficacy of 91,4 percent and was 100 percent effective in preventing severe cases of COVID-19.
Algeria isn’t the only country to rely on the Russian vaccine, as Sputnik V is already being used in immunisation campaigns in Serbia, Belarus, Argentina and Bolivia. More than 1,5 million people around the world have already been vaccinated with Sputnik V, which is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors.
Overall, more than 50 countries have applied to purchase some 1,2 billion doses of the Russian vaccine, the RDIF said. The doses for international distribution will be produced in India, Brazil, China, South Korea and other countries, while Russia will focus on conducting its own large-scale vaccination campaign. – RT.com