Russia looks into producing COVID-19 jabs in Nicaragua — top diplomat, 19.07.2021.
Sergey Lavrov noted that the production of Chumakov Research Center’s CoviVac vaccine could be launched on the Mechnikov joint venture in Managua in the near future.
MOSCOW, July 19. / TASS /. Moscow is exploring the possibility of launching the production of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine in Nicaragua following the country’s request, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Monday at a press conference after talks with his Nicaraguan counterpart Denis Moncada Colindres.
Russia’s top diplomat noted that a few months ago, the Nicaraguan leadership "made a proposal to launch the production of the Chumakov Research Center’s CoviVac vaccine based on the Mechnikov joint venture in the republic's capital. However, this is "a challenging issue for a number of reasons". "First, the enterprise is set up for the production of influenza vaccines and its capacities are fully loaded with these drugs, which are supplied not only to Nicaragua, but also to Venezuela, Cuba, and Ecuador. It produces about 30 mln drug doses during the flu season. And the second aspect is that the Chumakov Research Center’s production capacity is not very significant so far. In Russia, the demand for this vaccine is not yet fully satisfied," Lavrov stressed. "Taking into account all these circumstances, we are looking into the possibilities of establishing the production of any Russian vaccine in Nicaragua. I believe that in the near future there will be clarity on this issue. Politically, of course, we entirely support it."
Lavrov recalled that Nicaragua was one of the first to register the Sputnik V vaccine, while in May 2021, the republic's leadership, together with Venezuelan colleagues, registered Sputnik Light. "We carry out deliveries, with more than half of the contracted volumes have already been completed. About 300,000 doses have already been delivered. And now <...> we are negotiating the timing of further deliveries," Russia’s top diplomat went on to say. "Tomorrow the Minister and his delegation will meet the Russian Direct Investment Fund’s representatives. And we believe that completing these supplies in line with the agreements is our absolute priority."
Furthermore, Colindres noted that an intergovernmental commission, which "regularly held meetings to determine the dynamics of work" in this direction, had been operating for a long time. "Our country has already received a significant amount of Russia’s vaccines, and we keep working on this issue," the Nicaraguan top diplomat emphasized. "We have already noted the Mechnikov enterprise’s activities, in its context, joint work is envisaged on the possibility of producing a vaccine in our country. For Nicaragua and other region’s countries, the process is already underway, however, it requires careful analysis and consistent work, especially during the pandemic."