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Last Updated : Aug 03, 2020 07:29 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Russia to deliver COVID-19 drug to South Africa, Latam countries: Wealth Fund

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that at least 150,000 packs of the drug, known as Avifavir, would be sent to Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay. The drug will also be supplied to South Africa, RDIF said in a statement.

Reuters

Russia has signed deals to supply South Africa and seven Latin American countries with an anti-viral drug Russian authorities have approved to treat COVID-19, its sovereign wealth fund said on Monday.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that at least 150,000 packs of the drug, known as Avifavir, would be sent to Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay. The drug will also be supplied to South Africa, RDIF said in a statement.

Technology to make the drug would be transferred to Bolivia's Sigma Corp S.R.L. for it to be produced locally, RDIF said.

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The Russian health ministry gave its approval for the drug's use under a special accelerated process in May.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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First Published on Aug 3, 2020 07:15 pm
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