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India will soon have a third COVID-19 vaccine joining the fight against the ongoing pandemic. An expert panel of India's central drug authority has recommended granting approval to Russian COVID-19 and as per a PTI report, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) will take a final call on the recommendation.

If approved, it will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in India. Some reports however already quoted sources within the drug regulator's office indicate that the world's first COVID-19 vaccine is now coming to India. An official statement however is yet to be issued to this effect.

Earlier today, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) met to take up the application filed by Dr Reddy's Laboratories seeking emergency use authorisation for Sputnik V. The vaccine which is already in use in some countries has been undergoing third phase trials ahead of usage in India. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund in September 2020 to conduct clinical trials, filing for approval in February this year.

Sputnik V has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6 per cent in the interim analysis of phase 3 clinical trial, which included data on 19,866 volunteers in Russia. Officials said on Monday that the vaccine would be imported from Russia for emergency use in India.

Further details awaited.

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