Foreign and health ministries of Brazil are willing to continue the conversation about Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V so it could be authorised for use in the country.
“[The foreign and health ministries are willing] to support the current dialogue, while respecting the autonomy of Anvisa, so that Sputnik V will strengthen the country’s national coronavirus vaccination programme after it is approved in Brazil”, the ministries said in a joint statement.
The ministries have also noted the readiness of Anvisa, the RDIF, and the Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine’s developer, to clarify the remaining issues, which includes providing additional documents.
Last week, the Brazilian health regulator Anvisa rejected a regional government request to import the Russian-made vaccine. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets Sputnik V abroad, said it believes the decision may be “politically motivated”, citing a US Department of Health report that the United States had attempted to persuade Brazil not to use the vaccine.
On Thursday, the manufacturers of Sputnik V said they would launch a legal defamation suit against Anvisa for “knowingly spreading false and inaccurate information”.
In April, governors of Brazil’s northeastern states announced their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a response from Anvisa on the delays in Sputnik V’s import approval. On 13 April, Supreme Judge Ricardo Lewandowski gave Anvisa until the end of this month to make a decision.
Sputnik V, the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine, has been approved for emergency use in 64 countries across the globe. The efficacy of the vaccine stands at 97.6%, based on the latest analysis of data on the post-vaccination infection percentage among 3.8 million vaccinated Russians. It is higher than the 91.6% efficacy shown in an interim analysis from the trial published in The Lancet in early February.