World Russia, facing lags, turns to China to produce Sputnik shots
From scarcity to abundance: US faces calls to share vaccines
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Victor Guevara knows people his age have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in many countries. His own relatives in Houston have been inoculated. But the 72-year-old Honduran lawyer, like so many others in his country, is still waiting. And increasingly, he is wondering why the United States is not doing more to help, particularly as the American vaccine supply begins to outpace demand and doses that have been approved for use elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S., sit idle. “We live in a state of defenselessness on every level,” Guevara said of the situation in his Central American homeland.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Russia is turning to multiple Chinese firms to manufacture the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in an effort to speed up production as demand soars for its shot.
Russia has announced three deals totaling 260 million doses with Chinese vaccine companies in recent weeks. It's a decision that could mean quicker access to a shot for countries in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa that have ordered Russia's vaccine, as the U.S. and the European Union focus mainly on domestic vaccination needs.
Brazil regulator rejects Sputnik vaccine; Russia cries foul
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's health regulator cited safety concerns while rejecting several states' requests to import almost 30 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, prompting criticism from the Russian government. The five-person board of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency unanimously decided late Monday that consistent and trustworthy data required was lacking for approval of the requests from 10 states, according to a statement. Another four states and two cities have also sought authorization to import the vaccine.
Earlier criticism about Russia's vaccine have been largely quieted by data published in the British medical journal The Lancet that said large-scale testing showed it to be safe, with an efficacy rate of 91%.
Yet, experts havewhether Russia can fulfill its pledge to countries across the world. While pledging hundreds of millions of doses, it has only delivered a fraction.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said demand for Sputnik V significantly exceeds Russia’s domestic production capacity.
To boost production, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which bankrolled Sputnik V, has signed agreements with multiple drug makers in other countries, such as India, South Korea, Brazil, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and others. There are few indications, however, that manufacturers abroad, except for those in Belarus and Kazakhstan, have made any large amounts of the vaccine so far.
Mexico Ignoring 'Propaganda' Against Russia's COVID Vaccine, Will Administer Shots
Brazil's health regulator has rejected Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, but Mexico said it will begin bottling doses."Mexico did not fall into the propaganda game against Sputnik V," Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said during a visit to Russia. "The evidence that we have from what the Health Department told me before this trip is that the million doses administered in Mexico have very good results.
Airfinity, a London-based science analytics company, estimates Russia agreed to supply some 630 million doses of Sputnik V to over 100 countries, with only 11.5 million doses exported so far.
RDIF declined to disclose how many doses are going to other countries. Through April 27, less than 27 million two-dose sets of Sputnik V have been reportedly produced in Russia.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which has been in charge of international cooperation for Sputnik V, said in April it would produce 100 million doses in collaboration with Hualan Biological Bacterin Inc., in addition to an earlier deal announced in March for 60 million doses with Shenzhen Yuanxin Gene tech Co.
The two deals are in addition to a deal announced last November with Tibet Rhodiola Pharmaceutical Holding Co, which had paid $9 million to manufacture and sell the Sputnik V vaccine in China. RDIF said in April the terms of the deal were for 100 million doses with a subsidiary company belonging to Tibet Rhodiola.
Russia 'Unlikely' to Meet Promised 630M Target for COVID Vaccine Doses, Now Partnering with China
Russia, scrambling to meet the ambitious inoculation goals it set when it first authorized its Sputnik V vaccine, will team with Chinese manufacturers to accelerate production of the vaccine in time for its target deadlines. © Pavel Golovkin, File/AP Photo In this Dec. 10, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker prepares a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Moscow. Russia is turning to multiple Chinese firms to manufacture the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in an effort to speed up production as demand soars for its shot.
Russia is “very ambitious and unlikely to meet their full targets,” said Rasmus Bech Hansen, founder and CEO of Airfinity. Working with China to produce Sputnik V could be a win-win situation for both Russia and China, he added.
In recent years, Chinese vaccine companies have turned from largely making products for use domestically to supplying the global market, with individual firms gaining WHO preapproval for specific vaccines — seen as a seal of quality. With the pandemic, Chinese vaccine companies have exported hundreds of millions of doses abroad.
Chinese vaccine makers have been quick to expand capacity and say they can meet China’s domestic need by the end of the year.
“This is an acknowledgment of the Chinese vaccine manufacturers who can produce at volume,” said Helen Chen, head of pharmaceuticals LEK Consulting, strategy consultancy firm in Shanghai, in an email.
However, none of the three Chinese companies have yet to start manufacturing Sputnik V.
Tibet Rhodiola started constructing a factory in Shanghai at the end of last year and expects production to start in September, the company said at an annual meeting for investors last month. Tibet Rhodiola’s chairman Chen Dalin also said that after the successful technology transfer, they will start with an order of 80 million doses to sell back to Russia. An employee at the company declined to transfer a phone call request to the company's media department for comment.
Alone At Sputnik V: Manuela Schwesig with Russian vaccine on voter catch
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern invests tax money in contracts via Sputnik V. Elsewhere grows back the skepticism, söder and Kretschmer rowing back. A comment. © Photo: Picture Alliance / DPA Manuela Schwesig (SPD) leads her state election campaign with empathy for Russia, from Sputnik to Nord Stream 2. D the saga around the Russian vaccine Sputnik seemed to come to an end: much noise around nothing. The chances that he is used in Germany shrink.
The timeline for the newest deals are also unclear. Hualan Bio was among the 10 largest vaccines manufacturers in China in 2019. Phone calls to Hualan Bio went unanswered.
A spokeswoman for Shenzhen Yuanxing declined to say when the company will start production but said their order would not be for sale within China. RDIF had said the production will start this month.
In spite of the delays, Russia’s vaccine diplomacy has made gains.
From the outset, Russia, the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, aimed to distribute it globally. Within weeks of giving Sputnik V regulatory approval, RDIF started actively marketing it abroad, announcing multiple deals to supply the shot to other countries. It is so far winning the “public relations” battle, analysts said in a new report examining Russia and China's vaccine diplomacy from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
“Russia has been able to build stronger diplomatic ties and in areas where it hasn’t been able to,” before, said Imogen Page-Jarrett, an analyst at EIU. “They have this window of opportunity while the US, E.U. and India are focusing on domestic and the rest of the world is crying out for a vaccine supply."
China adds few babies, loses workers as its 1.4B people age .
BEIJING (AP) — The number of working-age people in China fell over the past decade as its aging population barely grew, a census showed Tuesday, adding to economic challenges for Chinese leaders who have ambitious strategic goals. The total population rose to 1.411 billion people last year, up 72 million from 2010, according to the once-a-decade census. Weak growth fell closer to zero as fewer couples had children. That adds to challenges forThe total population rose to 1.411 billion people last year, up 72 million from 2010, according to the once-a-decade census. Weak growth fell closer to zero as fewer couples had children.