Sputnik V Covid Vaccine to Arrive in India This Month, Production to Start in May: Envoy

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The first batch of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V will arrive in India within the next 10 days. The production of the vaccine will start in India in May and it is likely to go upto 50 million doses a month, Indian Ambassador to Russia, Bala Venkatesh Varma said.

Sputnik V will be the third vaccine to be used in India against Covid-19. In January, DCGI had given the emergency use authorisation for two Covid-19 vaccines — Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune.

Bala Venkatesh told reporters that the first shipment will take place by the end of this month and the production will be launched in May and it will slowly increase. India has become the 60th country to authorise the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) last week had registered the vaccine under the emergency use authorization procedure, based on results of clinical trials in Russia, as well as positive data of additional Phase III local clinical trials in India conducted in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories informed that the discussion on the price of the imported vaccine is still going on. “Global Price For the Sputnik V vaccine is $10 dollars for a dose. We are still in discussions on the price of the imported doses in India. We will share an update once there are further developments in this regard,” the company said in a statement.

RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev, in a virtual press conference last week had said besides five drug companies that the Russian firm had ties ups with, they are looking at a couple of more firms for the possible production pacts. “We almost think Sputnik V is an Indian-Russian vaccine, because lots of production of sputnik V will be done in India.

We publicly announced five production partnerships in India with some of the largest Indian pharmaceutical companies,” Dmitriev had said. According to an earlier release, RDIF has agreements with India’s Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech aimed at production of more than 850 million doses per year.

Earlier this week, the government had decided to fast-track emergency approvals for all coronavirus vaccine that have been given a similar nod by the World Health Organization or regulators in the United States, Europe, Britain or Japan. The move may make several vaccines available to India, including those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

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