India May Conduct Russian COVID Vaccine Sputnik V Phase 3 Trials
Russia has shared “comprehensive data” on the vaccine with India.
As India registers more than 4 million COVID cases, Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, has said that both countries are on "different levels of talks" regarding supply, co-development and co-production of the Russian vaccine 'Sputnik V', the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world.
According to a study by Lancet, the initial trials of the vaccine have shown no major side effects. What is this vaccine and on what stage of talks is India in with Russia? Here's all you need to know:
WHAT IS SPUTNIK V?
On 11 August, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine, named Sputnik V, after first satellite in the world launched by the Soviet Union, is yet to complete phase 3 of trials.
Putin said that the vaccine showed “stable immunity” against the virus and had “passed all the necessary checks”.
The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for up to two years, according to the Russian health ministry.
On 4 September, the ministry made the findings of the phase 1 and 2 trials of the vaccine public via a paper in leading science journal, Lancet.
Russia has also said that it may make the vaccine available for civil use starting early next week.
WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS REGARDING THE VACCINE?
Numerous experts and governments have said that in order to be the first to have an approved vaccine, Russia has been cutting corners and compromising safety.
Others have questioned the speed of development and the lack of transparency.
However, the official website of ‘Sputnik V’ says that 20 countries, including India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Philippines have expressed interest in "obtaining the Sputnik V."
On 4 September, the vaccine was administered on Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, the day that initial studies regarding the trial were made public.
AT WHAT LEVEL IS INDIA IN TALKS WITH RUSSIA VIS-A-VIS SPUTNIK V?
According to reports, Russia has shared comprehensive data pertaining to Sputnik V with India. Senior officials in the Indian government told The Indian Express that India had sought this data from the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology that developed the vaccine.
One option before the authorities, the report states, is to have a separate phase 3 trials for the vaccine in the country after necessary approvals from regulators here.
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