Production of Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine in India expected to start in August, says Indian envoy to Russia

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Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma.
Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma.

Saint Petersburg [Russia], May 22 (ANI): The production of the Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine in India is expected to start in August, said Indian envoy to Russia, Bala Venkatesh Varma, adding that Russia has supplied over 2 lakh doses of the vaccine to India.

"For Sputnik, 150,000 doses plus 60,000 doses supplied to India. By May-end about 3 million doses will be supplied in bulk. Those will be filled in India. In June, it is expected to increase to 5 million and production in India expected to start in August," Varma said.

The Indian Envoy also informed that Sputnik will be produced in India in three phases.

"It will be produced in India in three phases. First, supply from Russia - fully made - which has already started. Second, RDIF will send to India in bulk. It will be ready for use but it will have to be filled in various bottles in India," Varma said.

"And in the third phase, the Russian side will transfer the technology to an Indian company and the Indian company will produce it fully. All these three put together will be about 850 million doses," he added.

Taking about the Sputnik Light vaccine, the Ambassador also said that New Delhi hopes that the Russian Sputnik Light vaccine will be approved for use in India.

"Russian side has also proposed Sputnik Light. The regulatory approvals for that in India are still not completed. But once those regulatory approvals are given, then Sputnik Light will be one more area of cooperation between India and Russia," he said.

Sputnik Light is the first component (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)) of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the sovereign wealth fund marketing the vaccine abroad.

"The single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine demonstrated 79.4 percent efficacy according to analyzed data taken from 28 days after the injection was administered. An efficacy level of near 80 percent is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines," the RDIF said in a statement.

The Sputnik V vaccine was registered in India in April. (ANI)

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