India’s efforts to get international COVID vaccine makers to ‘Make in India’ got a boost on Saturday (May 22) when Russia announced that its Sputnik V vaccine will be produced in India starting August.
Indian envoy to Russia DB Venkatesh Varma, announced that about 70% of all Sputnik V jabs in the world will be manufactured in India.
Varma told media persons in St Petersburg on Saturday (May 22) that India will be producing 850 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
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Russia has already started providing vaccines to India. So far, it has provided 2,10,000 doses to India and by the end of May, 3 million more doses will be supplied. “Those would be filled in India. It’s called fill and finish. In June, this number is expected to increase to 5 million. And production in India will start in August,” said Varma.
Varma said the Sputnik V vaccine will be made available in India in three phases. Firstly by way of direct import from Russia, which has already begun. Second, Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is promoting the vaccine, will make bulk deliveries to India. The ready-to-use vaccine will have to be bottled in India. Thirdly, manufacture in India.
The Indian envoy also informed that talks are on to introduce the single-shot Sputnik V in India. Varma said, “The regulatory approvals for that (Sputnik light) in India are still not completed. But once those regulatory approvals are given, Sputnik Light will be one more area of cooperation between India and Russia.”
Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get emergency use approval in India after Covishield (Serum) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech). Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will import the vaccine for use in India. The vaccine cost in India is Rs 948, with five per cent GST per dose (retail price).
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd had applied for the grant of permission to import and market Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine, popularly called Sputnik-V, developed by M/s Gamaleya Institute, Russia for Emergency Use Authorization.
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The Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine (Component I & Component II) has been developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia and is approved in 30 countries across the world.
DRL has collaborated with the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for obtaining regulatory approval for import for marketing in India.
(With inputs from agencies)