Russia plans to produce 1 billion doses of its ‘cheaper’ Covid vaccine

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Source: CNBC

By Holly Ellyatt; @HOLLYELLYATT

  • Russia said it will make its own shot cheaper than rival vaccines.
  • It aims to produce 1 billion doses in 2021.
  • Russia registered its coronavirus vaccine in August.

Hot on the heels of promising coronavirus vaccine news from the U.K. and U.S., Russia said Tuesday it will make its shot cheaper than its rivals and aims to produce 1 billion doses next year.

“The cost of one dose of the Sputnik V vaccine for international markets will be less than $10,” Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF said. Russia’s coronavirus vaccine requires two doses.

“Thus, Sputnik V will be two or more times cheaper than foreign vaccines based on mRNA technology with similar efficacy rates. For Russian citizens, vaccination with Sputnik V will be free of charge,” RDIF added.

The statement appears to be referring to vaccine candidates from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna, which are made from messenger RNA. In the last couple of weeks the companies reported high efficacy rates of their vaccines in late-stage trials.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to cost around $20 per dose, while Moderna’s CEO said two days ago that its vaccine will cost $25-$37 per dose, depending on the amount ordered. Both require two doses.

The comments from Russia also come a day after British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials found their vaccine “highly effective.” Their vaccine uses a viral vector approach rather than mRNA technology.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which requires two doses, is estimated to cost $3-4 per dose.

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