MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Syria has approved Russia’s Sputnik V and is ready to import the coronavirus vaccine, the Syrian Ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, said to Sputnik Monday.
"Damascus has taken all measures to register the Russian vaccine - Sputnik V - in Syria and approved its use,” Haddad said to Sputnik.
According to Haddad, the vaccine will be in Syria soon, after Damascus announced its readiness to receive and use it.
The Russian vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Epidemiology and Microbiology Center and registered by the Russian Ministry of Health on 11 August, was the world’s first registered vaccine against the coronavirus.
In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from Phase III clinical trial of the Russian vaccine, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. The vaccine has already been approved in 31 countries, including Belarus, Serbia, Hungary, San Marino, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Algeria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
A day earlier, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov said that Russia may explore the possibility of allowing Lebanon to produce the Sputnik V.
"We are ready to help Lebanon and its people in all fields, including the fight against COVID-19 ... there will be communication with the relevant companies to discuss the possibility of manufacturing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in Lebanon,” Rudakov said.
The ambassador’s remarks came during his visit on Saturday with Lebanese Caretaker Industry Minister Imad Hoballah to Arwan Pharmaceutical Industries, an advanced biotech manufacturing facility, in the town of Jadra in Mount Lebanon, to check the company’s methods of manufacturing medicines.
Hoballah hoped that the visit would open the way to discussions to produce the Russian vaccine in Lebanon with help from Moscow.
Lebanon received on Saturday the second batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and expects to receive more shipments.