WHO says approval process for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine 'still on hold'

FILE PHOTO: Vials labeled “Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine”, March 24, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Wednesday the Emergency Use Listing process for Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine was on hold pending some missing data and legal procedures, which the U.N. body hopes will be “sorted out quite soon”.

“We are working almost on a daily basis with the ministry of health in Russia to address the remaining issues to be fulfilled by the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” said Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products.

Simao said that as soon as an agreement was reached, WHO will reopen the case and assess data that was submitted, even though it was “still incomplete” and resume manufacturing site inspections in Russia.

“All submissions that we have, they are addressed the same way,” she said and did not specify a timeline for when the listing process could be completed.

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko earlier this month said that all barriers to register the vaccine with the WHO had been cleared and only some paperwork remained to be completed.

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