Russia's Sputnik V Get Expert Panel Clearance: Five Things to Know About India's Third Covid-19 Vaccine

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Sputnik V vaccine developed by Russia against Covid-19 on Monday received approval from India for its emergency use with certain conditions. The decision was taken by Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) at a time when the country is witnessing record surge of infection cases. India currently manufactures two vaccines – Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s Covishield developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. If approved by India’s regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Sputnik V will become the third vaccine to be used in the country.

The development comes amid many states reporting vaccine shortages in the country.

Earlier, it was reported based on government sources that by the end of the third quarter of this year, India will receive Covid-19 vaccines from five additional manufacturers.

Here are five things to know about Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus:

1. For the manufacturing of vaccine doses, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has partnered with a number of Indian pharmaceutical companies, including Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma, and Vichrow Biotech.

2. Russia had registered Sputnik V in August last year, much before large-scale clinical trials, which had faced criticism from several experts over its fast-track process. However, later the studies showed that the vaccine is both safe and effective in preventing the Covd-19 infection.

3. As per reports, the vaccine is based on human adenoviral vectors, which cause common cold. It uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of inoculation, providing immunity with a longer time.

4. Sputnik-V, developed by Russia-based Gamaleya Institute, has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent in the interim analysis of phase 3 clinical trial, which included data on 19,866 volunteers in Russia.

5. The two-dose vaccine costs less than $10 for each shot in the global markets. Its dry form can be kept at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees.

Sputnik V is expected to provide a big boost in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, with a production capacity of 850 million doses in the country.

Meanwhile, India on Monday recorded 1,68,912 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the sixth record rise in seven days, pushing the country’s caseload to over 1.35 crore.

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