Vaccine and immunization consultant, Dragoslav Popović asks what has changed about the announced construction of a Chinese vaccine factory in Serbia, considering that Health Minister Zlatibor Lončar said that Chinese vaccines would be produced in the pharmaceutical company, Hemofarm, based in the town of Vrsac, which is majority-owned by the German STADA.
“What happened to the Chinese vaccine factory, if now Hemofarm is to start producing them? This is a surprising statement by Minister Lončar. Hemofarm has never produced vaccines before and neither has its parent company, STADA,” Popović told the Autonomija website.
Hemofarm has not commented on Minister Lončar’s statement yet.
In mid-May, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, posted a video on his Instagram page of what the alleged vaccine factory in Serbia would look like, which was supposed to be built with the help from the United Arab Emirates and China.
Popović reminded that Hemofarm was majority-owned by a foreign company and added that any investment in such a company would not bring profit to Serbian science and would not benefit the Torlak Institute, which is in charge of producing vaccines in Serbia.
Speaking about filling the Russian vaccine Sputnik V into appropriate packaging at Torlak, Popović explained that regardless of the fact that only the packaging is produced at Torlak, the coronavirus vaccine was still considered a new product and must be registered.
“Now the question is how much does the Serbian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency care about its integrity and independence,” he concluded.
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