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Apr 10, 2021
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Lavrov with a syringe at the ready

Lavrov with a syringe at the ready

Photo: Zuma / TASS

Russians will have to compete in vaccination against coronavirus with a billion (at least) foreigners wishing to be vaccinated with domestic drugs. While the government assures: despite the fact that the demand for the Russian vaccine against coronavirus in the world exceeds the supply, the priority remains the vaccination of Russians. But the temptation to “maneuver” is very great here.

Will Russia not repeat the mistake of the USSR, which made an exaggeration in humanitarian aid to third world countries with half-empty shelves of domestic stores?

This question immediately arises after the statement on April 7 by the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Sergey Lavrov the central Pakistani English-language newspaper “News International” on the readiness of our country to help with the supply of vaccines to the poorest countries in the following context: “The epidemic has debunked the myth about the superiority of the ultra-liberal development model … Russia is one of the leaders in the field of global health care”

Speaking about the powerful anti-infection potential accumulated by Russia, Sergey Lavrov noted: “The issue of equitable distribution of anticonvulsants is very sensitive, especially for the poorest countries. In this regard, we are ready to supply safe and effective Russian vaccines on a transparent basis. A lot of work is being done in this direction ”.

If this is not only advertising and propaganda of “our system”, but also, for the most part, a kind of marketing ploy, calculated for the future, when domestic demand is fully satisfied, then this probably will not harm the health of Russians. In addition, sharing with the poor, even with the hopeless poverty of millions of our compatriots, is a good tradition. To know only when to stop.

But there is another question. Will the Russian authorities resist the temptation not to make it a priority here to replenish the “leaky” state budget with currency for the vaccine sold for export? The situation is favorable for that.

According to the press secretary of the president Dmitry Peskov, the level of confidence in domestic vaccines “somewhere in a billion people on this earth, at least.” And the demand – both in the domestic and foreign markets – is such that “we simply cannot cope with production.”

Currently, three vaccines are registered in Russia: the first is the development of the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after V.I. N.F. Gamaleya, the second – from the State Scientific Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”, the third – from the Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immunobiological Preparations named after M.P. Chumakov.

At the same time, the Sputnik V vaccine is registered in 59 countries with a total population of more than 1.5 billion people. Its use was approved in Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua and other states. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is authorized to carry out international relations to satisfy applications from abroad for the Russian vaccine.

But in our country, the demand for the vaccine is growing rapidly.

“The number of Russians wishing to be vaccinated has increased sharply,” the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation said on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel. Tatiana Golikova, stressing that it is important to vaccinate especially before spring and summer.

And according to the forecast of the RDIF, it is possible to vaccinate all interested Russians “until June.” In addition, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev made an important reservation, noting that such rates of vaccination of Russians are possible “due to the production capabilities that exist in Russia and abroad.”

That is, if, as they say, all the forces, all the reserves, even those that are still working to meet foreign demand, are thrown into it.

In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister, speaking about the growth of vaccination, did not give specific numbers, but according to RBC, just over 3% of the Russian population underwent a full course of vaccination against COVID-19.

Imagine what kind of grafting shaft can rise overnight in the country. In addition, it is now not uncommon to vaccinate Italians in Russia, as well as the French and Germans. etc. That is, vaccination tourism is growing, which, like the supply of vaccines abroad, draws off a part of the antikid potential.

But it turns out that foreigners have, so to speak, the full moral right to “come in large numbers” to Russia for a vaccine: 85% of the needs of Russian pharmaceuticals in pharmaceutical substances are still covered by imports.

– It should be recognized that domestic demand for vaccines still exceeds supply. Only some regions of Russia, including Moscow, can provide access to vaccination for everyone, says a professor at the Faculty of Economics at RUDN Natalia Volgina

– This situation is due to a number of objective circumstances. First, to date, Russia has not yet succeeded in creating vaccine production capacities in the required volume; and it is really quite difficult to do it in such a short period of time. Secondly, the problem is that 85% of the needs of Russian pharmaceuticals in pharmaceutical substances are covered by imports, primarily from China, France and India. This circumstance also hinders the pace of production of domestic vaccines.

In such a situation, the production of the Russian vaccine abroad with its subsequent export to Russia or other countries would become an effective business strategy. According to indirect data, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the chief manager of the vaccine business in Russia, has chosen just such a strategy – to outsource vaccine production to foreign countries. According to the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev, production of the Sputnik V vaccine has already begun in India, South Korea, China and Brazil. In the near future, it is planned to establish production in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey and, possibly, Iran.

By the way, it should be noted that such a production outsourcing strategy is currently widely and successfully used in a number of industries, in particular, in the automotive industry, the electronics industry, etc.

There is no data yet on the conditions under which Russian vaccines will be supplied to Africa or other poorest regions of the world. It is possible that the international community will create a special fund to finance the supply of vaccines to the poorest countries. Several media outlets have already reported this.

I believe that Russian vaccines, primarily Sputnik V, will be in demand in the poorest countries due to their effectiveness, as well as their relative affordability. Thus, the cost of one dose of Pfizer & BioNtech vaccine is $ 20, and the cost of one dose of the Sputnik V vaccine is $ 10. The Chinese Sinovac vaccine costs $ 30 and is by no means the cheapest.

– In terms of total debts, we now have a situation similar to that of the USSR: 29 states owe Russia about $ 30 billion. Moreover, the debts of some countries with weak economies will turn out to be mostly bad. But the vaccine is a special moment, it is difficult to oppose the idea that we are feeding the whole world for free, believes Analyst of FINAM Group Alexey Korenev

– The fact is that now there is a vaccine race. This is an obvious thing and a very important point – who will be able to stake out what niche in this area. In terms of striving to build a reputation and reach the largest possible number of consumers, it’s worth sometimes donating money. And, perhaps, Sergey Lavrov is acting on the basis of these considerations.

At the same time, yes, of course, not everything is simple: we once again seem to be worried about strangers, while our own people are complaining – yesterday I only saw on TV that people were waiting for a vaccine for two weeks, and pensioners complained that they were not vaccinated in any way. And we are distributing to African states … But on the other hand, it is very important to stake out as many areas of their potential distribution as possible for subsequent sale.

Jack London you read everything in childhood, remember in his stories – where you managed to drive the first post by the stream, there is now your site, and you wash gold there. Relatively speaking, we now need to score our own posts in this area. Therefore, in this situation, I do not presume to condemn Lavrov, in my assumption, he acts precisely with the aim of hammering in the columns, until the Americans, Swedes, British, Chinese have managed to hammer them in. etc.also looking to find markets for their vaccines.

Then there will be a question of commercial use, but now we need to prove that our Russian vaccine is popular, it works and is in demand, that more and more countries are ready to use it. The question is controversial, not everything here comes down to money. And even if it rests on money, sometimes money does not come first in the open, it can be long-term consequences, and our neighbors, perhaps, will be that we managed to occupy our niche on time. And due to this, we will recoup in the future. Because the pandemic is far from over.

It has already been discussed several times that it will be necessary to be vaccinated several times. Perhaps there will be a fourth wave and a fifth. This virus mutates, it will be necessary to create new or modify the created vaccines. Therefore, it is very possible that we have now hammered in the pillars, and then – I don’t know how long we will fight, maybe this pandemic will be with us for ten to fifteen years – these territories will be ours in this area.

Of course, we will get nothing from poor countries. But one is the poorest, the other is the poorest, then a richer country will look nearby, but the vaccine works, they take it. Let us, too – but this is already for the money. This is a cunning policy, and even more of a political marketing.

And there is no insurance against failure. Maybe they will even use our vaccine, and then they will say, all the guys, thank you, we decided to use the American one.

► Read about coronavirus, methods of treating the disease and vaccines in materials “Free Press”

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