11:54 GMT25 January 2021
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    TASHKENT (Sputnik) - Uzbekistan plans to start clinical trials of Russian Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in late December or at the beginning of the next year, Uzbek Health Minister Abdulhakim Hacibayev told reporters on Saturday.

    "If the answer [from regulators] is positive, we plan to start clinical trials of this vaccine at the end of this year or early next year," Hacibayev said.

    The minister said that the country requested 500 Sputnik V doses from the RDIF, while the Uzbek Health Ministry’s press office has reported earlier that Tashkent had asked for 5,000 doses.

    Hacibayev also mentioned that Uzbekistan, which also participates in clinical trials of a vaccine developed by the Chinese Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical company, received 6,000 vaccine shots from China.

    In September, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is backing the development and roll-out of Sputnik V, said that it had agreed with Uzbekistan’s major pharmaceutical company Laxisam on shipments of up to 35 million doses of the vaccine to the Central Asian country in 2020-2021. Laxisam has said that the work to coordinate supplies of vaccines with relevant Uzbek regulators is underway.

    The Sputnik V vaccine is currently going through phase 3 trials in Russia, as well as in Belarus, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. India and Brazil are also set to join the trials soon.

    COVID-19, Sputnik V, vaccine, Russia, Uzbekistan
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