India on Monday became the 60th country to grant emergency use authorisation for Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.
Prior to Sputnik V, Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were given the green signal for restricted use in India.
The development comes at a time when India is facing a vaccine crunch with states shutting down vaccination centres due to lack of jabs.
The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) came after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on Monday recommended granting approval to Sputnik V for restricted emergency use subject to certain regulatory conditions.
The SEC on Monday deliberated upon the application of Dr Reddy's Laboratories seeking emergency use authorisation for Sputnik V.
With curiosity rising regarding the vaccine, here are a few key things to know about the Russian Covid-19 jab--
Who Will Manufacture Sputnik V In India?
The vaccine has been developed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The organisation said it has agreements with India's Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech to produce 850 million doses per year in the country.
Has Sputnik V Been Tested In India?
In September 2020, Dr Reddy's had partnered with the RDIF to conduct the clinical trials of Sputnik V. In addition to the trials conducted in Russia by RDIF, phase II/III clinical trials of the vaccine were carried out by Dr Reddy's in India.
How Safe Is Sputnik V?
The Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6% 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.
It is one of only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%; Sputnik V provides full protection against severe cases of Covid-19.
Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots during the course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.
There are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.
How Much Will Sputnik V Cost In India?
The vaccine has been priced at about USD 10 (Rs 750) per shot in other countries. However, the price at which it will be sold in India, is yet to be decided.
Which Are The Other Countries Using Sputnik V?
Sputnik V ranks second among coronavirus vaccines globally in terms of the number of approvals issued by government regulators.
Total population of 60 countries where Sputnik V is approved for use is 3 billion people or about 40% of the global population.
The countries where it has been approved are-- Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, UAE, Iran, Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republika Srpska (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.
When Will Sputnik V Be Available In India?
Limited number of doses will be available in India by the end of April. The RDIF hopes to produce 850 million doses per year in India.
Furthermore, according to sources, around 10 crore doses of the Sputnik V vaccine are likely to be imported for emergency use in the country in the next six to seven months.
(With PTI inputs)