COVID-19: Sputnik V vaccine to arrive in India this month
The first batch of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V will reach India within the next 10 days. The production of the vaccine will commence in May and it is expected to go up to 50 million doses per month, the Indian Ambassador to Russia, Bala Venkatesh Varma, reportedly said. Here are more details on this.
Sputnik V third vaccine to be used in India
Varma told reporters that production will start in India next month and will be gradually increased. Sputnik V will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be used in India . The country's top drug regulator had in January granted emergency use approval to two vaccines - COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech and Covishield, developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
DCGI had last week registered this vaccine
India has become the 60th country to allow the use of Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had last week registered this vaccine under the emergency use authorization procedure. That decision was based on clinical trials conducted in Russia as well as the additional local trials conducted in India in partnership with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
Discussions on the price of vaccine still underway
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories said that discussions on the price of the imported vaccine are still on. "Global price for the Sputnik V vaccine is $10 for a dose. We are still in discussions on the price of the imported doses in India," the company said.
India fast-tracks approval for foreign-made vaccines
A few days ago, the Indian government had decided to fast-track emergency use approval for all coronavirus vaccines that have been given a similar nod by the World Health Organization (WHO) or regulators in the United States, Europe, Britain, and Japan. This move could make several prominent vaccines available to India soon, including those made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
India battles dreadful second wave of COVID-19
India is in dire need of more coronavirus vaccines as it battles a dreadful second wave of the pandemic. On Monday, the country reported 2.73 lakh new infections, the highest single-day surge since the outbreak. With over 1,600 fatalities, it was also the deadliest day yet. Several states have been reporting a shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen amid the crisis.
All aged above 18 can be vaccinated from May
Amid the unfolding crisis, the government has decided to allow all persons aged above 18 years to receive the vaccine starting May 1. Currently, only those aged above 45 are allowed to be vaccinated against COVID-19.