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Boost for COVID-19 vaccine program: Sputnik V deliveries to India to begin in April, says envoy
The vaccine is indicated for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19 disease in individuals of ≥ 18 years of age.
Two days after India fast-tracked emergency use approval for eligible foreign-produced shots against COVID-19, the Indian Ambassador to Russia confirmed that the first consignment of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V will be delivered to India in April.
"What we heard from companies is that by (the end of) this month, the first shipment will take place and the production will be (launched) there in May and slowly increase," Indian Ambassador Bala Venkatesh was quoted by the Russian news agency Sputnik as saying.
In a major boost to COVID vaccination programme, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given the go-ahead to restricted emergency use of the Sputnik V. Dr Reddys Laboratories has received approval from the DCGI for restricted emergency use of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine in India.
“Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (M/s DRL) 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. The Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine (Component I & Component II) has been developed by 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 worl,” the health ministry stated in its release.
The vaccine is indicated for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19 disease in individuals of ≥ 18 years of age. The vaccine should be administered intramuscularly in two doses of 0.5 ml each with interval of 21 days. (Day 0: Component I and Day 21: Component II). The vaccine has to be stored at -18°C. The vaccine comprises of two components I & II, which are not interchangeable, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has set a target of 50 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine to be manufactured in India by this summer.
In January 2021, the Indian drug regulator had already given the emergency use authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.