RUSSIA – UNICEF has entered an agreement with Russian Direct Investment fund(RDIF), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Human Vaccine, for a supply of 220 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

This agreement which is conditional on the product achieving an Emergency Use Listing from WHO, will see a total of 110 million people get immunized.

UNICEF has also signed three other similar agreements with COVID-19 manufactures Serum Institute of India, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca in a bid to meet vaccine demand across the globe.

Earlier, Moderna committed to supply 34 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to COVAX through UNICEF whereas Sweden donated 1 million doses of AstraZeneca shots, a boost to quench the struggle to inoculate the worlds least privileged people.

In line with this agreement, RDIF is pursuing a discussion with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to see the Sputnik V vaccine considered for inclusion in the COVAX Facility’s Portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines.

COVAX has been hit by supply problems for Covid-19 vaccines, notably the AstraZeneca shot made in India, where authorities have restricted exports because of its fast-growing epidemic.

This threatens COVAX’s aims to help end the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 through provision of rapid, fair, and equitable access vaccines.

Protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups through immunization is crucial to arresting the pandemic.

Should the COVAX Facility decide to enter into an advance purchase agreement for the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine, UNICEF will be ready to deliver as soon as regulatory milestones have been met.

UNICEF has been working in collaboration with PAHO Revolving Fund to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccine for COVAX.

UNICEF’s priority is to make sure that all countries have safe, fast, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine and to help them prepare for the rollout of immunization.

 According to RDIF CEO, Kirill Dmitriev, the best way to bring the pandemic under control is to ensure that safe and effective vaccines are made available as widely as possible and as quickly as possible to all countries and territories.