Paraguay approves emergency use of Sputnik vaccine, Russian sovereign wealth fund says

A medical worker demonstrates a vial with Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine during the vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a clinic in Minsk, Belarus December 29, 2020. Andrei Pokumeiko/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Paraguay has become the latest Latin American country to approve emergency use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus, Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said on Friday.

The green light from Paraguay does not require additional clinical trials in the country, RDIF said in a statement. Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia have also approved use of the vaccine while Chile is in talks about doing so.

“We expect that more countries in the region will approve it soon and are ready to create new partnerships to pool efforts in the fight against the pandemic,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the fund, said in the statement.

Efficacy of Sputnik V is more than 90%, with full protection against severe cases of COVID-19, the statement said.

“Supplies of the vaccine will be facilitated by RDIF’s international partners in India, China, South Korea and other countries,” it added.

More than 1.5 million people have already been vaccinated with Sputnik V, it said. The vaccine has also been approved in Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Algeria and Palestine.

“The process to approve the vaccine in the European Union has been initiated,” the statement said.

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Paul Simao