UNICEF said it has signed a conditional supply agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to procure up to 220 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine by later this year.
The deal is contingent on the vaccine being approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization and on vaccines alliance Gavi signing a purchase agreement to buy vaccines on behalf of the UN-backed initiative known as COVAX.
Sputnik V is currently being assessed by the UN health agency for safety and efficacy. Research published in the journal Lancet this year suggested the vaccine is about 91% effective. The shot is currently used in numerous countries.
In a statement on Thursday, UNICEF said it is “ready to deliver as soon as regulatory milestones have been met.”
The announcement could help bolster the amount of vaccines for the COVAX effort, which aims to distribute doses to developing countries, The Associated Press reported.
The vast majority of COVAX vaccine supplies are from the Serum Institute of India, which is keeping most of its vaccines to deal with a coronavirus surge of cases and deaths.