BELGRADE (Serbia), September 6 (SeeNews) - Serbia plans to complete the construction of a factory for the production of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines in the first quarter of 2022, health minister Zlatibor Loncar said.
The construction of the factory will start on September 9 and it will produce about 3 million doses per month, Loncar said in a press release on Saturday.
Serbia has received the first shipments of raw material for production of the Chinese vaccine and intends to start manufacturing it under a trial mode at the premises of drug maker Hemofarm, a unit of Germany's Stada, by October, Loncar said, adding that the government plans to have 6 million doses ready for use by the end of the year.
"These doses will be intended primarily for the citizens of Serbia, and if there is a surplus, for exports to the region," Loncar noted.
In July, Serbia's government signed an agreement to start the construction of a factory for production of Sinopharm vaccine with partners from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In March, Serbia's deputy prime minister Branislav Nedimovic said the country hopes to produce 24 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, enough to meet its internal needs and the demand of all of its neighbours. The factory will be built by Chinese and UAE companies, whereas Serbia will contribute the land plot but will not provide any subsidies, Nedimovic said back then.