The Russian ambassador to Ireland has said the country is preparing to begin production of its Sputnik V vaccine in Europe.
The drug is currently being considered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Ambassador Yuriy Filatov told Pat Kenny: "It is popular and I receive many, many requests and inquiries from the Irish people asking 'Where do I get it?
"The simple answer is that first of all the vaccine should be certified by the European [Medicines] Agency to be used anywhere in the European Union, including Ireland.
"This process is ongoing, but in my mind it's taking too much time".
Ambassador Filatov said the Russian agency which oversees vaccine distribution applied for certification in January.
"And only on the 4th of March there was a decision to begin the so-called rolling review.
"Anyway we hope that it could be done fairly quickly".
'We do not export vaccine doses'
He said while the Irish Government "maybe or may not be interested in Sputnik, but at least it will be legally available and it could be discussed".
On the issue of supply, Ambassador Filatov said it is not usual for Russia itself to export vaccines.
"The first priority of my government is to take care of vaccination in Russia... I estimate that by the end of the second quarter, we will have about 80 million doses available in Russia.
"[This] means it will cover the major part of the population needed for what they call herd immunity.
"Normally the practice is that we do not export vaccine doses per se - we make agreements, contracts, with the foreign producers.
"So that we transfer technology and know-how and they produce these vaccines at its own plants".
He said this would be done in Europe through the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
"Fairly soon, even without waiting for EMA certificate, the production could start at one plant in Italy and the other is I believe in Germany."
He said they have the capacity, globally, for output capacity of 700 million doses a year.
"So there is a good prospect of that being a viable option for anybody interested - we're not imposing that on anybody, but we think the more vaccines the better".
It comes after Professor Luke O'Neill suggested the EU is set to receive 50 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in June.
He explained that a number of countries in the EU are already using it.
"Sputnik is now approved in Slovakia and Hungary, they're using it.
"The EMA is examining Sputnik V - they will report soon on it to see if it's to be approved.
"And the Russians have said they're going to give 50 million doses to the EU as soon as the EMA has approved it.
"It's coming down to which country or companies have the biggest factory, that kind of thing.
"I predict the EMA will approve this vaccine, there's no question - cause it is very safe and efficacious - it's like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine [with] very similar technology."