COVID-19 vaccine: India to produce 300 million Sputnik V doses
India will reportedly produce around 300 million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine called Sputnik V. The figure is nearly three times the previously known number of doses that India was aiming to produce. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology have jointly developed the vaccine, which has been found at least 91.4% effective.
Russia has agreements with four Indian vaccine manufacturers: RDIF head
"In India, we have agreements with four large manufacturers," RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev told Rossiya 24 TV, according to news agency TASS. "India will produce about 300 million doses or more of the vaccine for us next year." Russia is already testing the first samples of Sputnik V produced in India, the Russian embassy in New Delhi wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Hetero Biopharma to produce over 100 doses
Hyderabad-based Hetero Biopharma has announced a deal with the RDIF to produce over 100 million doses of Sputnik V. It remains unclear which other Indian companies will be producing the Russian vaccine. However, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, which has been conducting clinical trials for Sputnik V in India, has also struck a deal to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
Three vaccines under consideration for emergency approval in India
The Indian government has been reviewing the emergency approval applications for three potential vaccines: Oxford University and AstraZeneca's vaccine, labeled 'Covishield' in India; Bharat Biotech's indigenously-developed COVAXIN, and Pfizer-BioNTech's BNT162b2. The Health Ministry has said that emergency approval is expected in the coming weeks. Notably, Pfizer's vaccine has been rolled out in several countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.
How bad is the outbreak in India?
According to the Health Ministry, as of Friday morning, India reported 99,79,447 COVID-19 cases, with 22,890 fresh infections in the past 24 hours. India is the world's second worst-hit country in the outbreak after the US. The total cases include 3,13,831 active infections and 95,20,827 recoveries. The death toll has risen to 1,44,789 with 338 more fatalities in the past 24 hours.