The quality of Russian influenza vaccine evaluated in the WHO laboratory

1 March 2021

In February 2021 the official WHO representative, Dr. Ute Rosskopf who is in charge of laboratory networks and services as well as regulation and safety, confirmed the compliance of the influenza vaccine produced by Saint Petersburg Scientific Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums of FMBA of Russia to the word standards of quality.

The vaccine has undergone through all the stages of testing necessary to obtain the status of pharmaceutical product with WHO prequalification. At the moment, only manufacturers outside Russia hold this status.  

The SPbSRIVS is expecting to obtain the prequalification of its vaccine already this year. Generally, the WHO prequalification is a condition for the access of the pharmaceutical product to foreign markets. It will also help the SPbSRIVS to export its vaccine as part of supplies of international organizations and foundations.

The quality of the Russian vaccine becomes even more significant as, according to the claims of several scientists, next winter the world might be hit by a powerful flu wave. This year high flu rates have come down to the lowest point in the last 100 years due to the measures of social distancing.

“If I had to gamble on it, then I would guess that we are likely to get a more severe epidemic in the coming winter - assuming the COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted by then,” said Prof John Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a member of the government’s Sage committee of scientific advisors.

It is worth reminding that at the moment the SPbSRIVS is the only Russian exporter of the influenza vaccine abroad. Together with its affiliate in Nicaragua, Instituto Mechnikov, the enterprise has produced and delivered about 12 million doses of the vaccine to such countries as the Republic of Nicaragua, Republic of Cuba, Republic of Ecuador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and others.