Mexican officials say Russia is having so much problems producing the second dose of its Sputnik V coronovirus vaccine that the first dose will not be enough to deliver to people receiving the second pill.
This is the latest account of production problems for Sputnik V, which the Russian government is promising for other countries, but has not been able to supply in sufficient quantities.
The Russian vaccine uses a modified version of the common cold-adenovirus to carry the gene for the spike protein in the cornovirus to give the body a way to respond to how COVID-19 comes along.
It is a technique similar to the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. But unlike AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine, the Russian approach uses a slightly different adenovirus for the second booster shot.
Lopez-Gatl said Russian scientists are now suggesting abandoning the idea of giving two different Sputnik V shots for several weeks and instead giving another booster shot after six months.
“Over the course of months, the amount of the first dose they managed to produce went out of alignment with the amount of the second dose they were able to produce,” Lopez-Gatl said.
Mexico has received only 1.9 million Sputnik V doses so far, out of a total of 24 million it has signed a contract. It has been forced to rely more heavily on the Pfizer vaccine, of which it has received 10.6 million doses, as well as about 10 million doses of two Chinese vaccines. It also received approximately 4.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Mexico has recorded more than 219,000 test-confirmed COVID-19 deaths, but the country does so few tests that the government’s potential deaths are now estimated at about 347,000.
This is the latest in a series of failures for the Russian vaccine.
In April, regulatory authorities in Slovakia said they had not received enough information about the Sputnik vaccine from its manufacturer, which has been able to assess its benefits and risks.
The State Institute for Drug Control of Slovakia stated that about 80% of the requested data was not provided. According to a study published in the medical journal Lancet, it was stated that the vaccine given to Slovakia was different from the original, two-dose Sputnik V vaccine, which is known to be 91% effective.
Also in April, Brazil’s health regulator cited safety concerns, rejecting several states’ requests to import about 30 million doses of Sputnik.
Russia is marketing Sputnik V abroad despite a relatively slow rollout at home and limited production capabilities. Dozens of countries have approved the use of Sputnik V, and several signed deals with the Russian Direct Investment Fund that regulates the vaccine to receive Shott’s shipments.
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