The Sputnik V vaccines. Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund
  • Russia wants 700 million people to be vaccinated with Sputnik V this year, a top official said.
  • India, China, and South Korea will be the biggest producers, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment fund said.
  • Russia's Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine has been approved in more than 40 countries so far.
  • See more stories on Business Insider SA's homepage.

Russia plans to immunise nearly one in 10 people on the planet this year with its Sputnik V vaccine, a top official said.

"We have capacity to provide the vaccine to 700 million people outside Russia this year," Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told Bloomberg.

The state-run fund, founded in 2011, supported the development of Sputnik V and is in charge of its roll-out to foreign countries.

"The biggest producers will be India, China, and South Korea," Dmitriev said, adding that the RDIF has production agreements in 10 countries.

He said current output levels of the shot were "substantial," but Russia is banking on an "exponential growth" in domestic production to increase the number of shots.

According to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, more than 5 million people have been vaccinated with Russia's coronavirus vaccine, which studies suggest is more than 90% effective.

Dmitriev told Bloomberg that between 40 and 50 million people around the world should get Sputnik V by late June. He didn't explain why demand for the shot would increase so quickly after that.

So far, Russia's vaccine has been approved in more than 40 countries across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many of these countries don't have access to the shots made by Western firms such as Moderna and Pfizer.

Dmitriev told Insider on 2 February that Sputnik V probably wouldn't be available in the US or UK in the near future. He said he was only moderately interested in sending it to Europe.

In February a South African pharmaceutical company said it is ready to bring fifteen million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to the country immediately, as soon as it gets emergency approval from local health authorities. At roughly the same time, health minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed authorities were already in “advanced stages of evaluating” the Russian shot.

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