Iraq Approves Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V - Health Ministry

Sputnik, 04.03.2021

Iraq has authorized Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use, Health Ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr said on Thursday.

"After the approval of the (Russian Sputnik) vaccine by the Ministry of Health, and based on what was presented by Minister of Health Hassan Al-Tamimi in the Council of Ministers, he directed, in turn, direct contracting with Sputnik and [Russian pharma company] R Pharm to import the vaccine," al-Badr told the INA news agency.

He noted that the prime minister had instructed the oil minister, who is currently on a visit to Russia, to sign a contract to import the Russian vaccine.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has confirmed that Iraq became the 45th country in the world to register Sputnik V, which one of the world's top three coronavirus vaccines in terms of the number of approvals issued by national regulators.

"The total population of 45 countries which have registered Sputnik V now exceeds 1.2 billion people. The vaccine is now authorized in 8 countries of the middle East and we are seeing rising demand for it. Sputnik V is already one of the key global vaccines to fight coronavirus," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev added.

According to the Iraqi Health Ministry, the first 1 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine will arrive in the country within two weeks.

Iraq embarked on a coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday, using China's Sinopharm shots.