Coronavirus vaccine in India: Russia has agreed to start production of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate Sputnik V in India, Sputnik V has announced on Twitter. An agreement has been reached between Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero Drugs. More than 100 million (10 crore) doses of Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 will be produced annually, as per a Reuters report.
Hyderabad-based Hetero and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) are aiming to start production of Sputnik V in India at the beginning of 2021. Notably, RDIF has been backing the Sputnik vaccine and marketing it globally.
Meanwhile, Phase 2 and Phase 3 human trials of Sputnik V are already going on in India, the statement on the Sputnik V Twitter account said. Drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has said it was expecting phase 3 clinical trials to be completed by as early as March 2021.
Earlier in November, the Russian Direct Investment Fund claimed that the Sputnik V vaccine is 92 per cent effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the Reuters report said.
Russia also said it was aiming to produce primarily freeze-dried Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine doses by the spring, a top official said, eliminating the need for transport at ultra-low temperatures as part of an ambitious plan to inoculate its population. Russia has been testing a version that has undergone lyophilisation, turning the liquid vaccine into a dry, white mass that can be stored at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6-46.4°F). It is then diluted before injection.