CAIRO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 09th February, 2021) Officials in Algeria have shown significant interest in producing Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine domestically, and work is ongoing to resolve several key issues, Russia’s trade representative in the North African country, Ivan Nalich, told Sputnik on Monday.
Lotfi Benbahmed, Algeria’s minister of pharmaceutical industry, said one week ago that the North African country should be ready to launch production of the Russian-developed vaccine in two months, provided that there are enough raw materials. Benbahmed noted that discussions between Russian and Algerian specialists have been held over the past six weeks.
“Algeria is showing great interest in organizing the production of the Sputnik V vaccine domestically,” Nalich stated.
The trade representative said that officials from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Algeria’s pharmaceutical ministry, and Frater-Razes, one of Algeria’s largest pharmaceutical firms, have held fruitful discussions over recent weeks.
Algeria became the first African country to register Sputnik V back on January 10, and Nalich said that the government’s impetus may expedite the launch of domestic production.
“The Algerian side, at the present moment, is solving several technical issues. The whole process associated with the launch of vaccine production in Algeria may take from six to nine months. On the other hand, given how quickly the Algerian regulator registered the vaccine [Sputnik V], state support may give this process significant impetus,” he stated.
The trade representative also expressed hope that Algeria’s pharmaceutical industry will be able to launch production as quickly as possible, noting the current difficulties of conducting in-person visits amid the ongoing pandemic.
Algeria launched its COVID-19 mass vaccination program using Sputnik V back on January 30 following the arrival of a shipment of doses.