The Union Govenment on Thursday (May 13) said that Russia's Sputnik vaccine will likely be available for use by next week and also the local production of the vaccine will begin in July.
The initial doses of Sputnik V, developed by the Moscow-headquartered Gamaleya National Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology, are being imported.
"Sputnik vaccine has arrived in India. I am happy to say that we are hopeful that it will be available in the market next week. We're hopeful that the sale of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week," said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog.
Sputnik V is the third vaccine India that secured approval from the regulators after Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield is developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute in India locally.
In Sep 2020, pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) signed a partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for clinical trials and distribution rights of Sputnik V in India. It completed the bridging trials in the country in February.
Sputnik V needs minus 18 degree Celsius to remain stable. A freeze-dried version of the vaccine is in the works that will be stable in 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. DRL had earlier said it would help in the cold chain logistics for Sputnik V.
The overall production capacity of Sputnik V in India, both for domestic and overseas markets, is expected to cross 1 billion doses annually. Of this, about 250 million doses are for the Indian market.
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