Moscow is ready to supply Manila and invest in the “local production” of a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine once mass production in Russia starts.
In a virtual presser on Friday, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said the country has already developed an “effective and safe” vaccine, created by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
“All necessary bureaucratic procedures in order to get an official administrative approval may be completed mid-August. After that the Russian industrial facilities will be ready to prepare all necessary conditions to launch the production of this Russian vaccine,” Khovaev said.
The Philippines, should it agree on a partnership, could opt for a deal on vaccine supply, local production on Philippine soil, and clinical trials if necessary.
“The third most promoted option is local production of vaccine on the Philippine soil. It means that we are ready to combine our efforts (and) that we are ready to make necessary investments together with our Philippine partners and share our technologies,” he said.
As of this posting, Khoavev said Russia is still waiting for a response from Manila.
“What we need now is get the official response of our Philippine partners about (their) willingness to cooperate with us in this field. After that we’ll be ready to launch a negotiation process and to agree upon relevant details,” he said.
Khovaev said the vaccine developer is the same laboratory that created a vaccine against Ebola and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Citing Russian scientists, he said the results from clinical trials have been “promising”.
“Believe me, we don’t like risky undertakings. That’s why I’m saying again that the vaccine is effective and safe. It’s an absolute necessary precondition, which was articulated by Russian President (Vladimir) Putin. We are responsible people,” he said.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs conveyed its appreciation for Russia’s willingness to assist the Philippines, as well as its offer to supply the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed by Gamaleya.
The offer has been referred to relevant agencies for proper assessment and evaluation, it said. (PNA)