Coronavirus

The Russian vaccine could soon be manufactured in Germany

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The Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” is considered to be particularly effective, along with the vaccines from Biontech and Moderna. The manufacturers from Moscow have now asked a pharmaceutical company in Saxony-Anhalt for support in the production of the vaccine and are hoping for approval of the vaccine in the EU, as reported by “WELT”.

In view of the current vaccination chaos in Germany, due to insufficiently ordered vaccines and a lack of uniform, nationwide strategy, vaccinations have so far only progressed slowly. The Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” could, however, push the vaccination process in Germany forward again. Because in January the Russian vaccine manufacturer asked the pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika in Dessau-Roßland, Saxony-Anhalt, for support in production.

The Russian vaccine was made by scientists from the Gamaleja Institute in Moscow and is based on adenoviruses as a carrier. The two planned doses of the “Sputnik” vaccination are each different virus strands that are intended to make the vaccine particularly effective. The trade journal “The Lancet” published the interim results of the last test phase of “Sputnik V”. The findings show that the vaccine is 91.6 percent effective against Covid-19. This means that “Sputnik V” is as effective as the vaccines from Biontech and Moderna, and even more effective than the vaccine from AstraZeneca.

Production in Germany could start in four to five months at the earliest

IDT Biologika is one of the largest biotechnology companies in the world. The Federal Ministry of Research invested 114 million euros in the company last year. The money was supposed to be used for research on a vaccine of our own, but this vaccine development was discontinued in January due to insufficient effectiveness. Since then, the pharmaceutical company has been producing part of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Jürgen Betzing, the managing director of IDT Biologika, announced according to the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung” that production of the Russian vaccine could start in four to five months at the earliest. The reason for this is the time-consuming establishment of a secure manufacturing process, said Andreas Neubert, chief developer of IDT, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk. Unlike the mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, Sputnik is manufactured using a conventional biological process, for which the requirements are very high.

While the early approval of the Russian vaccine in August 2020 was still heavily criticized, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn are now welcoming “Sputnik V”. In the ARD broadcast “Color confess”, Merkel said on Tuesday that “everyone who receives approval from the European Medical Agency (…) is (is) warmly welcome”. Merkel is also in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the vaccine.

Sputnik V has yet to be approved by the drug authorities

Health Minister Jens Spahn confirmed on Wednesday that Russia had requested European support for the production of the vaccine. According to Spahn, the production of the vaccine is possible in this country, even if it has not yet been approved in Germany and Europe.

Russia asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval of its vaccine back in January. This will now test the effectiveness of “Sputnik V” and decide on approval.

Whether “Sputnik V” will soon also be available in Germany will only be known after the approval authorities have examined it. In the meantime, the vaccine is already being used in more than 15 countries, such as India, Brazil, Mexico and Kazakhstan.

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