'No Plans' to Approve Russian Vaccine for Use in Korea

      April 01, 2021 12:12

      The government on Wednesday denied a claim by the Russian Embassy here that it is looking to approve the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

      "We have not been officially given any documents on Sputnik V, and we are not reviewing the relevant data," the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said.

      Russia's official TASS news agency on Tuesday quoted the embassy as saying, "The issue of registration of Russian anti-coronavirus medicines including Sputnik V is being considered by the Korean authorities. All documents that are needed for vaccine registration were referred to [Korea's] authorized agencies at the beginning of this current year."

      Sputnik V is named after the world's first satellite Sputnik 1.

      The vaccine initially struggled with trust issues over its safety and efficacy, but it has gained a lot of interest in the EU, which is scrambling to secure vaccines.

      A study published in the Lancet in February found Sputnik V is 91.6 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and now the vaccine has been approved in more than 50 countries.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a video conference on Tuesday discussed joint production and use of Sputnik V.

      Sputnik V works in a similar way to vaccines from Janssen and AstraZeneca in that the antigen is put into a harmless adenovirus. While AstraZeneca uses the same adenovirus for both doses, Sputnik V uses two different types.

      There have been calls here to acquire supplies of Sputnik V in the face of a dire vaccine shortage, and in fact a Korean company in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province is manufacturing Sputnik V on commission.

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