Kerala to set up Russian COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing unit to fill up Sputnik V doses in vials

Kerala is all set to sign an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the nodal agency for Russian-made Sputnik vaccine, to set up a unit for filling COVID-19 vaccines vials.

If things go according to the plan, a manufacturing plant for Sputnik V will be coming to the state soon.

Industries Principal Secretary Dr K Ellangovan told ANI that RDIF has shown interest in the proposal submitted by Kerala Government through Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev.

"We have given two options - one Green Field Project in Life Science Park and second for filling up of vials, which is an immediate project. So there are short-term and long-term projects," he said.

For the short-term project, which Kerala is eyeing to finalise, State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDPL) will be playing a major role.

"Some modifications are being worked out on land allotment. Once materialised, bulk Sputnik vaccines can be brought in here and vials can be filled up from here. With regard to the long-term plan of setting up Sputnik manufacturing plant, details are being worked out," Dr Ellangovan said.

He said further talks are being held for regarding the finalisation of the manufacturing unit.

Kerala's first major step in the field of life sciences, the Life Sciences Park, a Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) initiative, is a cluster of research institutions, sci-tech academia, and companies working in the field of biotechnology, nanotechnology and life sciences.

If RDIF agrees to set up a manufacturing unit, it will be set up at Life Sciences Park in Thiruvananthapuram.

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