COVID-19: Lukashenko unveils Belarus-made Sputnik Light vaccine

The vaccine is hailed as a single-dose vaccine and is approved in 30 countries. But widespread acceptance of it and Sputnik V has ground to a halt after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow (photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/ VIA REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow
(photo credit: SPUTNIK/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/ VIA REUTERS)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Health Minister Dmitry Pinevich on Monday unveiled a new Belarusian-made Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik Light, TASS reported citing the Belarusian Health Ministry.

The vaccine, hailed as a single-dose vaccine and approved in 30 countries, according to The Washington Post, has advanced into the next stage in this joint Russian-Belarusian project and has already been sent to Russia for quality assurance, TASS reported.

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine was widely anticipated by some as a potentially usable vaccine against COVID-19. Though many had expressed concerns over it, it is still widely used in Russia and has been approved for use in 71 countries.

At one point, it seemed likely that Israel would even allow tourists vaccinated with Sputnik to enter Israel during stricter COVID-19 travel restrictions.

All this ground to a halt come Russia's invasion of Ukraine

People pose with syringe with needle in front of displayed Sputnik V logo in this illustration taken, December 11, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)People pose with syringe with needle in front of displayed Sputnik V logo in this illustration taken, December 11, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

While the World Health Organization (WHO) was originally set to analyze Sputnik for emergency use, that stopped in March due to the invasion of Ukraine. 

It is unclear if and when this situation will change as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

Reuters contributed to this report.