Covid 19: Algerian Saidal to produce 2.5 million doses/month of Sputnik, Sinovac vaccines

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The public pharmaceutical group Saidal will produce as from next September 2.5 million doses of Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines per month, Minister of Pharmaceutical Industry Abderrahmane Lotfi Djamel Benbahmed said Tuesday in Algiers.

Speaking on Channel III of the national radio, Mr Benbahmed explained that the Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinovac vaccines will be produced at the Saidal unit in Constantine, with a monthly production rate of 2.5 million doses per month, as a first phase.

This production capacity can be increased by using one of the eight other production units equipped and approved in Algeria to carry out the “fill & finish” aseptic distribution process initially adopted for the production of these two vaccines.

For the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Saidal would have to proceed to the raw material production, which will take more time, the Minister noted.

However, Mr Benbahmed revealed that this is part of the strategic partnership with the Russian research institute, Gamaleya, which will also extend to bio-technology products, notably oncology drugs which cost the country 600 million euros per year.

He spoke of saving hundreds of millions of dollars for the fill and finish process when it comes to vaccinating an entire country’s population.

The Minister pointed out that it will be possible to earn 5 to 6 dollars per dose, and if 50 million doses are to be produced, this will result in a saving 250 million dollars, “which is not negligible”.

In addition to the local production of the vaccine, the Chinese laboratory Sinovac has committed itself with Institut Pasteur to deliver 15 million doses by the end of the year, he added.

Mr Benbahmed was keen to reassure Algerian citizens as to the quality of the vaccines available in Algeria, pointing out that since the start of vaccination campaigns throughout the world, billions of people have been vaccinated, saying that “if there was a major concern about the use of the vaccines, it would have already been reported”.

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