2021-06-29| Asia-PacificCOVID-19

Korea to Begin Production of Sputnik Light COVID-19 Vaccine in September

by Tyler Chen
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South Korea has become a global hub for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing. After Moderna and Novavax made deals with the Korean government in May to produce their vaccines, the country’s pharma companies said they would start producing the Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine as early as September.


Aim to Produce 30 Million Doses in 2021

Huons Global, the leading company in its vaccine consortium, said on June 28th that they would start manufacturing sample batches of Sputnik V and Light vaccines in August in order to meet the demand from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The firm once stated in April that it would make 100 million Sputnik V vaccines a month for export purposes, and now it aims to produce 30 million shots by the end of 2021.

The consortium included Korea’s local pharma firms Huons Global, Prestige BioPharma, Humedix, and Boran Pharma. Huons Global commented in May that it would prioritize the local supply of Sputnik V as soon as it is approved in Korea.


Another Deal by RDIF

Huons Global isn’t the only one that had a deal with RDIF. 

On April 15, Korea’s Isu Abxis received a technology transfer of Sputnik V from RDIF to produce the vaccine. It said that the pilot production of the vaccine at the facility in Yongin is expected to begin soon.

Isu Abxis is in a vaccine consortium organized by GL Rapha in February. The consortium also included 8 other domestic companies.


Still Under Review in Korea

The efficacy of Sputnik Light is 79.4% with a single shot, and according to the real-world data in Argentina, the vaccine has an efficacy of 78.5 to 83.7% among the elderly. As for conditions for storage, Sputnik Light can be transported at the temperature of 2~8 °C, meaning that it doesn’t require cold-chain infrastructures such as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

However, currently, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are not approved or under review in Korea.

Related Article: Korea’s Incheon Airport to Open a Cool Cargo Center to Store COVID-19 Vaccines


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