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Libya to Probe Delayed Sputnik V Deliveries – Reports

Russia has faced criticism from countries which have bought Sputnik V over heavily delayed deliveries of the vaccine. Andre Penner / AP / TASS

Libya has launched an official inquiry into delivery delays of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, according to local media reports.

The war-torn country's UN-backed government announced it will launch an investigation into the hold-ups, which are significantly undermining the country’s vaccination campaign, the Libyan Express reported.

Libya received a first batch of Sputnik V vaccines in April, and subsequent deliveries in June and July. However, it is awaiting crucial second doses, with an order for 500,000 outstanding.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funds Sputnik V’s development and manages its export, did not respond to a request to comment on the situation.

Sputnik V comprises two doses, each containing different formulations. While developers say this “vaccine cocktail” approach makes the adenovirus-based shot more effective, it makes manufacturing harder as producers need to have two completely isolated production zones to produce each shot and avoid cross-contamination. Firms manufacturing the vaccine have struggled to ramp up production of the second shot.

The investigation comes after Argentina also warned Russia it was in a “very critical” situation as it waited for the delivery of millions of outstanding second doses.

Sputnik V’s first dose — which has also been given authorization in Russia and is being marketed as Sputnik Light — is also effective against the coronavirus, the vaccine’s developers say.

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