India is in communication with Russia as far as its Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V is concerned, the Union Health Ministry said Tuesday.
Addressing the press briefing on the novel coronavirus here in the national capital, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said as far as the vaccine Sputnik V developed by Russia is concerned, “both the countries (India and Russia) are in communication. Some initial information has been shared while some detailed information is awaited”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced weeks back that his country has developed the “world’s first vaccine against COVID-19”, which works “quite effectively” against the disease.
Last week, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said the country is looking for a partnership with India for producing the vaccine.
Dmitriev had said that several nations are interested in the production of the vaccine from countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. “The production of the vaccine is a very important issue. Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine and it is very important to say that those partnerships to produce the vaccine will enable us to cover the demand that we have,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Indian embassy in Moscow is also in touch with the Russian medical research institute that has developed the vaccine, top government sources had told The Indian Express.
Russian regulators earlier this month greenlighted the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and President Vladimir Putin announced that one of his daughters had already been inoculated with it.
Western experts have, however, been skeptical about the Russian claim, given the speed and secrecy with which the Gamaleya candidate has been given regulatory approval. Developing a vaccine is a complex and lengthy process, and the candidate must pass extensive field trials before it is cleared for human use. The Sputnik V candidate has been approved without being put through final phase 3 human trials.