With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc, India had earlier in April, approved a third vaccine for emergency usage. Russia's Sputnik V however it is yet to reach India. With the relevant approvals given, officials now say that the first batch of doses will arrive on the first of May. The news update, quoting Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev, was confirmed by the official Twitter handle for the vaccine.
It is not clear how many vaccines would be in this first batch, or where they would have been manufactured. In a recent press conference, Dmitriev had said that he expected over 50 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine to be manufactured in India by this summer.
Earlier this month, officials had said that the vaccine would be imported from Russia for emergency use in India. Dr Reddy Laboratories which had collaborated on trials and later received emergency use approval from the Indian drug regulator, had indicated earlier in April that supplies from Indian manufacturers will commence from next quarter.
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. It reportedly works in a similar manner to the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and the Janssen vaccine. The manufacturers insist that the vaccine provides full protection against severe cases of COVID-19 and that there are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.
While there is no official confirmation on the price of doses in India, earlier reports had quoted Dr Reddy's Labs to indicate that it could be marked at around Rs. 750 a dose. A statement from the company also pointed out that the global price for the Sputnik V vaccine is $10 per dose.
As per reports, the vaccine will be manufactured by five pharma companies in the country, with around 850 million doses being produced annually. While the RDIF and Panacea Biotec collaborate to produce 100 million doses a year, the remainder will be produced by Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech.