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Representational image
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Russia on Thursday announced a fourth COVID-19 vaccine which has been authorised for use in the country. According to details updated on the Sputnik vaccine website, the single dose jab demonstrated an efficacy of 79.4% and is believed to be effective against new strains of the virus that have emerged over the last few months.

"Sputnik Light has proven effective against all new strains of coronavirus, as demonstrated by the Gamaleya Center during laboratory tests," the website notes. Phase I and II trials were initiated in January this year and and the interim results were received on March 10, 2021. A third phase global efficacy study involving 7,000 people in multiple countries including Russia, the UAE and Ghana is presently underway. The interim results are expected in May 2021.

There has been no official confirmation that this vaccine will be available in India in the near future. What we do know however is that the Sputnik Light vaccine will be produced in India. While no definitive timeline has been given, the developers have confirmed that India is among the countries where the new variant of the Sputnik vaccine will be produced in the coming months.

Reportedly, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev told a news briefing that the new vaccine would be registered in several countries by next week, and talks were underway with regulators. It is however not clear whether Sputnik Light will be manufactured by the same companies that had tied up with the Russian organisation to produce Sputnik V for India.

According to the Sputnik website, the Light vaccine will be sold for less than $10 and has simple storage requirements, at +2 +8, which provide for easy logistics.

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