The Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, is to be produced in Italy from this summer, the Italian-Russian chamber of commerce said on Tuesday.
A subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical company Adienne Pharma and Biotech is to produce the vaccine in Lombardy.
Up to 10 million doses could be produced there by the end of the year, according to the statement.
This is the first deal between a European partner and RDIF, the Russian direct investment fund behind Sputnik V, the chamber of commerce said in its statement.
According to the ANSA news agency, Vincenzo Trani, head of the chamber of commerce, said the production of the vaccine did not mean it would also be immediately distributed, and Italy was still collaborating with the European Union in that regard.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza, said over the weekend that he was “open towards the Russian Sputnik vaccine’’ if it is approved by EU health authorities.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently reviewing Sputnik V for approval in the bloc.
Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, a representative of the agency, on Sunday warned EU states of approving the Russian vaccine before the EMA has reviewed its data, calling it a “Russian roulette.’’
Russia on Tuesday criticised the EMA for those comments.
“Vaccines and the EMA should stand above and beyond politics,’’ said a statement posted on the Sputnik V Telegram channel.
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