The Brazilian state of Bahia has signed an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct Phase III clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, in Brazil.
Officials from the Brazilian state have said they plan to buy 50 million doses to market in Brazil.
Russian state media touts Sputnik V as the first vaccine against coronavirus to be registered in the world, but Phase III trials haven't even been completed, report Anthony Boadle and Polina Ivanova at Reuters:
The Russian vaccine is being developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which last month also entered an agreement with the Brazilian state of Paraná to test and produce the vaccine.
Russia will sell up to 50 million doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine to Bahia state, RDIF said in a statement.
Governor Rui Costa said an agreement was signed this week to undertake the trials and Bahia will receive an initial 500 doses as soon as Brazil's health regulator Anvisa approves the protocol for testing.
Bahia is one of several Brazilian states that have struck out on their own to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines, motivated at least in part by a distrust of the federal government's response.
Deliveries are expected to start in November, if Brazil's regulators approve the deal.