India may soon get a third COVID-19 vaccine, with Russia's Sputnik V slated to be manufactured by multiple domestic companies. While it remains unclear as to when exactly it will be made available to citizens, officials have repeatedly said that the day is drawing near.
According to reports, the Russian side has signed several contracts with Indian firms to manufacture over 700 million doses. Of this, a hefty chunk of responsibility falls on Delhi-based Panacea Biotec, which will now be producing a 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine in India every year. Shared of the company have soared since it was announced on Tuesday.
Sputnik V is touted as the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, with an efficacy of 91.6% as per data published in the leading medical journal, Lancet. While several nations have already begun inoculating citizens, India is conducting additional trials in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
A report by The Hindu recently cited officials familiar with the matter to say that the vaccine may be cleared for emergency use as early as next week. Earlier in April, Dr Reddy's Labs had reportedly been denied authorisation for the two dose vaccine.
While the Indian government has thus far kept the price of vaccines low, administering it free of cost at government facilities and charging a maximum of Rs 250 at private facilities, it is unclear whether this will extend to Sputnik V. Indeed reports had quoted a statement by Panacea Biotec to remind that the price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot.