First batch of 1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia lands in Hyderabad

Published : May 01, 2021 21:53 IST

India receives a shipment of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V when it arrived in Italy from Moscow en route to India, on May 1. Photo: PTI

The first batch of Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine against COVID-19 developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, arrived in Hyderabad on May 1. The consignment of 1,50,000 doses of the vaccine will be delivered to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, an entity which has joined hands with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to produce Sputnik V in India. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories are now expected to send the vaccine to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, to seek mandatory approval. Another 30 lakh doses of the vaccine are due to arrive in India later this month.

Like Covishield developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Sputnik V is also based on human adenoviral vectors. The Lancet, citing published clinical trial data, indicated that the vaccine “appears safe and effective”. On April 12, the vaccine was accorded regulatory approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use. The Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has stated that Sputnik V can be stored at a temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, the same as Covishield and Covaxin. The vaccine is administered in two doses. However, Sputnik V has a regimen in which the two doses are different from each other and have to be administered 21 days apart.

After the consignment landed in Hyderabad, the Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev tweeted, “Happy to share that the first batch of the#SputnikV vaccine delivered in Hyderabad! As #RussiaIndia continue dedicated joint efforts to combat the #COVID19, this move is especially important to support the Indian Government’s endeavors to mitigate deadly 2nd wave &save lives.” Added the Ambassador: “Its local production is about to start soon and is planned to be gradually increased up to 850 million doses per year.”

In August 2020, the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Sputnik V as the “world’s first Covid-19 vaccine”. It is the third vaccine India has given the go-ahead to after Covishield and Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

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