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India to produce over 850 million doses of Sputnik V: RDIF

The total population of 60 countries where Sputnik V is approved for use is 3 billion people or about 40 per cent of the global population.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: April 13, 2021 11:34:12 am
Sputnik V, Russia Vaccine, India covid vaccine, India vaccination drive, India news, Pune, Indian expressIncluding India, 60 countries have now approved this two-dose vaccine, which uses a platform similar to Covishield. (Photo: Reuters)

India, which became the 60th country to approve the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in an emergency situation, will produce over 850 million doses of the vaccine annually. This will be sufficient to vaccinate more than 425 million people around the world, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, has said.

“We appreciate the decision of India’s regulatory bodies to grant authorization for Sputnik V. Approval of the vaccine is a major milestone as Russia and India have been developing an extensive cooperation on clinical trials of Sputnik V in India and its local production,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The total population of 60 countries where Sputnik V is approved for use is 3 billion people or about 40 per cent of the global population. The RDIF has reached agreements with the leading pharmaceutical companies in the country (Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech) aimed at the production of more than 850 million doses per year.

The vaccine, developed by a Moscow laboratory, has been recommended by an expert panel for emergency use 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, Dmitriev said.

The Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6 per cent and provides full protection against severe cases of Covid-19 as demonstrated by the data published in one of the leading medical journals The Lancet.

Other countries where Sputnik V has also been approved include Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, UAE, Iran, Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republika Srpska (an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bahrain, Montenegro, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Gabon, San-Marino, Ghana, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Guyana, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Moldova, Slovakia, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Laos, Iraq, North Macedonia, Kenya, Morocco, Jordan, Namibia, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Cameroon, Seychelles, Mauritius, Vietnam, Antigua and Barbuda, Mali and Panama.

In India, Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine to get emergency use approval, after Covishield (Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech).

The development comes at a time when some states have raised concerns about potential shortages of Covishield and Covaxin as Covid-19 cases surge. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had reportedly announced that the company’s ability to scale up production of Covishield to 100 million doses a month has been set back due to the fire that occurred earlier this year at their upcoming facility. The Pune firm will now only be able to reach this capacity by July, he was reported to have said.

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