Managua [Nicaragua], October 21 (ANI/Sputnik): The Mechnikov Institute of Biotechnology in Nicaragua will produce the Russian vaccine against COVID-19, CoviVac, trials have already begun, Laureano Ortega Murillo, Nicaraguan presidential adviser on investment, trade and cooperation, said during the 6th congress of Russian and Nicaraguan pharmaceutical companies.
"Our government, thanks to efforts with the fraternal Russian Federation, institutions and ministries, is starting trials for the production of a vaccine against coronavirus here in Nicaragua," Ortega Murillo said. According to the official, the supply of raw materials from Russia for testing has already begun, and the authorities expect to bring the ready vaccine to the Nicaraguan market next year.
In the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, the Nicaraguan government is already working with the Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund - ready Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines are being supplied to the country. Nicaragua began vaccinating the population in March. In addition to the Russian vaccine, Covishield and AstraZeneca vaccines obtained through the Covax mechanism are used.
"Now [we will work] with the Chumakov Institute from Russia to... be able to produce it [CoviVac vaccine] ... for brothers from Central and South America," Ortega Murillo said.
The research and production complex of the Mechnikov Institute was built on the outskirts of the capital of Nicaragua in 2016 as part of an agreement with Russia. The plant is operated by a Nicaraguan company, but the Russian side, represented by the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums, has invested significant resources in the project, including technology transfer and personnel training.
In April 2019, the Mechnikov Institute began to produce the first commercial batches of influenza vaccine for Latin Americans. The production line capacity is up to 10 million doses of vaccines per month. (ANI/Sputnik)