India approves Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 Vaccine, third vaccine to get emergency use nod
Russia's Sputnik V is the third vaccine to receive emergency use approval in India after the two locally manufactured vaccines- Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-Astrazeneca's Covishield.
India's Subject Expert Committee has approved Dr. Reddy's application for emergency use authorisation to Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
This is the third vaccine to receive emergency use approval in India after the two locally manufactured vaccines- Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-Astrazeneca's Covishield.
The move follows concerns raised by several states across India over the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Sputnik V trial efficacy
Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine reportedly has 92 percent trial efficacy, as per the late-stage trial results published in The Lancet journal in February 2021.
India to manufacture 5 more COVID vaccines by October 2021
The central government has decided to speed up COVID-19 vaccine production in the wake of shortage concerns. As per government sources, India is expected to get vaccines from five additional manufacturers by October 2021, which includes Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine that has already got an emergency nod.
The five more vaccines that are expected to be locally manufactured in India by the third quarter of 2021 include:
1. Sputnik V: The Russian vaccine will be locally manufactured in India in collaboration with Dr. Reddy's.
2. Johnson & Johnson vaccine: The vaccine that has received emergency approval will be manufactured locally in India in collaboration with Biological E.
3. Novavax vaccine - The vaccine will be manufactured in collaboration with the Serum Institute of India.
4. Zydus Cadila's vaccine
5. Bharat Biotech's Intranasal Vaccine.
•The union government is primarily focusing on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine before granting it emergency use authorisation (EUA).
•Almost 20 COVID-19 vaccines are at various clinical and pre-clinical stages in the country.
•Russia's Sputnik V vaccine has become the first among them to get the emergency nod.
•The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has collaborated with many local Indian pharmaceutical players such as Hyderabad based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech to locally manufacture the vaccine doses.
With a production capacity of 850 million doses in the country, Sputnik V is expected to provide a major boost to India's fight against COVID-19. Sputnik V is the world's first registered vaccine against COVID-19 virus. It was registered in August 2020.
When will the Sputnik V vaccine be made available in India?
Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is expected to be available for use in India latest by June.
When will other vaccines be available?
Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is expected to be available by August, Zydus Cadilla's vaccine is also expected to be available by August, while Serum Institute's Novavex is expected to be available by September and the Bharat Biotech's Intranasal Vaccine is expected to be available by October.
The Indian government is making all the efforts to ensure that Indians have equitable access to the highest quality vaccines in the world. It is attempting to accelerate vaccine production and availability without cutting any corners in research, development and clinical trial stages.
The government has decided to ensure all steps are taken to help domestic manufacturers to scale up vaccine production manifold. It is encouraging all COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to come to India, promising the required manufacturing assistance, financial support and partnership in running and designing clinical trials.
India is currently facing its second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which is deadlier than the first one with over 1.5 lakh new coronavirus cases being reported each day.