Sputnik Light may be India's first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine: Report
The Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik Light may reportedly be the first single-dose shot approved in India. Notably, India has already approved the two-dose Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, which is expected to be available next week under a partnership with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. The company reportedly said it will hold discussions with India's drug regulator and the government in June for an immediate launch.
Sputnik Light—which has already been approved in Russia—is the first dose (with adenovirus vector rAd26) of Sputnik V's two doses (rAd26 and rAd5). The single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine demonstrated 79.4% efficacy, according to the vaccine's manufacturers. Apart from the benefits of a single dose over two vaccine doses in mass vaccinations, Sputnik Light can also be used as a booster shot for other vaccines.
Dr Reddy's CEO Deepak Sapra told NDTV that the company is working with its partners in Russia and assessing safety and immunogenicity data. Sapra said Sputnik Light could be "very, very significant" as the single dose is 79.4% effective. The possibility of Sputnik as India's first single-dose vaccine "depends on approval from the regulator," he added.
Next week, India will start rolling out Sputnik V—the only vaccine with over 90% efficacy apart from Pfizer and Moderna. The imported vaccine will cost Rs. 995.40 in India and the cost will be brought down once it starts being manufactured locally. The vaccine's first dose was administered in Hyderabad on Friday as part of a soft launch by Dr Reddy's.
Asked why Sputnik has not been approved by World Health Organization (WHO), Sapra told NDTV, "That is a process that is underway. I think this is very likely to get approved in the next few weeks."
Sputnik V is the third vaccine to be used in India after Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN. Currently, India is facing a shortage of vaccine doses, which has hindered the expansion of India's vaccination drive. Several states have halted vaccinations for the 18-44 demographic as they have been asked to vaccinate those over 45 years on priority.