A consignment of Sputnik V arrives at Rajiv Gandhi 
International Airport in Hyderabad
A consignment of Sputnik V arrives at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad
—PTI

In a latest development, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Panacea Biotec, one of the leading vaccine and pharmaceutical producers in India, today launched production of the Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19. The first batch of the vaccine produced at Panacea Biotec’s facilities at Baddi town in Himachal Pradesh will be shipped to the Gamaleya Center for quality control.

However, the full-scale production of the vaccine is due to start this summer. Company’s facilities comply with GMP standards and are prequalified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). As announced in April, RDIF and Panacea have agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V.

The first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus - Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorization procedure on April 12, 2021 and vaccination against coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14.

So far, the vaccine has been registered in 66 countries globally with total population of over 3.2 billion people. Efficacy of Sputnik V is 97.6 percent based on the analysis of data on coronavirus infection rate among those in Russia vaccinated with both components of Sputnik V from December 5, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

The vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors and uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, said, “Launch of production in India in partnership with Panacea Biotec marks an important step in helping the country fight the pandemic. Production of Sputnik V supports efforts of India’s authorities to leave behind the acute phase of coronavirus as soon as possible while the vaccine will also be exported at a later stage to help prevent the spread of the virus in other countries around the world.”

While, Dr. Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, Panacea Biotec, said, “This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world.”

Few days back, Indian envoy to the Russia, had said that Sputnik V shall be produced in three stages in India and about 850 million doses are expected to be produced. India nearly will be supplied 3 million doses in bulk by May end.

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