Serbia plans to start making Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines this year


Serbia will start manufacturing the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinopharm and Russia's Sputnik V before the end of this year, President Aleksandar Vucic announced on Thursday.

Vucic announced the production of the Chinese vaccine during a visit to Abu Dhabi, where he agreed construction of a factory with the United Arab Emirates and China. Vaccine production in Serbia is expected to start on 15 October. He said that a deal would be signed within the next two weeks and described it as a “greenfield investment.”

Earlier on Thursday, minister without portfolio in Serbia’s cabinet, Nenad Popovic, announced the production of Sputnik V after meeting with Russian Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov. The first phase of the production is due to start by 20 May.

“We will have large quantities of vaccines for us, but also for the whole region. What I have learned this evening is that we will have to give vaccines to the region, even at production cost, because curing our people and preventing infection won’t work if there is a problem in the region,” Vucic told state television RTS.

Serbia is currently using four vaccines – Pfizer, Sputnik V, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca, and with more than 1.7 million doses administered to date it is among the leading countries in the world in terms of the number of vaccinated people per 100,000 population. Serbia has a population of around 6 million.