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Mexico to Test Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine

Mexico's foreign minister said Russia's testing offer is “very good news because again we buy ourselves time.” Moskva News Agency

Mexico will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s candidate coronavirus vaccine as part of the injection's Phase 3 clinical trials, Mexico’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told Russia’s ambassador Wednesday that Mexico wanted to conduct trials of Russia’s “Sputnik V” Covid-19 vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin says is the first in the world to be registered. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that he would be among the first to receive Sputnik V if it’s proven to be effective.

“Mexico was offered at least 2,000 doses of the vaccine to do its protocol to start testing it in Mexico, which is very good news because again we buy ourselves time,” Ebrard said, according to Reuters.

Mexico announced a deal last week with British-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca to manufacture its vaccine currently under development if clinical trials show it to be effective. The Latin American country is also readying to conduct late-stage trials of the Covid-19 vaccine for Johnson & Johnson and two Chinese companies.

Sputnik V's developers previously said that it will be tested in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which finances the Sputnik V project said Thursday that clinical trials will begin next week and involve more than 40,000 people in Russia.

More than 20 countries have made requests to purchase over 1 billion doses of the vaccine, the fund’s head said, adding that Russia had agreements with several countries to produce it.

AFP contributed reporting.

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