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UPDATE 1-Russia's RDIF to sell 32 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses to Mexican firm

(Recasts to change source to official statement)

MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday it had signed a deal to supply Mexican pharmaceutical firm Landsteiner Scientific with 32 million doses of the Russian-produced COVID-19 vaccine “Sputnik-V”, the fund said in a statement.

Deliveries of the vaccine to Mexico are expected to start in November, pending approval by Mexican regulators, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.

Russian regulators licensed the vaccine for domestic use in early August after initial, small-scale human trials. It is currently being tested on 40,000 people in Russia in a trial that launched on Aug. 26.

Mexico’s Landsteiner Scientific will also distribute the vaccine, RDIF said.

“We have agreed to deliver the large batch of Sputnik-V vaccine to Mexico, which will help 25% of the Mexican population to receive access to the safe and effective vaccine,” RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said.

Mexico had previously told Moscow it was keen to carry out late-stage testing of the Russian-produced vaccine. It has already agreed to carry out trials of vaccines developed by U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson and two Chinese companies.

RDIF, which is backing the vaccine’s development, signed its first export deal with Kazakhstan in August. Kazakhstan is set to buy more than 2 million doses initially and could later increase the volume to 5 million doses, RDIF said at the time. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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