Lebanon, Russia explore potential of producing Russian COVID-vaccine: report

Caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday discussed with Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov the potential of producing Russian Sputnik V vaccine in Lebanon.

The talks came following a visit paid last month by Rudakov to Arwan Pharmaceuticals Industries to check the factory’s technical capacities and capabilities ahead of approving Lebanon’s production of the vaccine, the National News Agency reported.

Ruwayda Dham, co-founder and deputy chairman of Arwan Pharmaceutical Industries, told Xinhua that Arwan can produce both the liquid filled vials that are stored at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius as well as the lyophilized form.

In addition to technical capabilities, Arwan has been certified by the Russian Health authorities since 2018, and the factory’s laboratories are approved by the World Health Organization, Dham added.

Arwan will be capable of producing around 150,000 liquid filled vials per day, and 175,000 lyophilized vials per cycle, producing a total of around 40 million to 60 million doses of the vaccine a year which covers Lebanon and nearby countries.

If approved by Russia, Arwan would produce the vaccines for the manufacturing company in Russia, the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Lebanon will be among the countries that have the priority to use it.