India to Start Domestic Production of Sputnik V from August
Indian Ambassador to Russia, D Bala Venkatesh said that the production will take place in three phases.
Indian Ambassador to Russia, D Bala Venkatesh on Saturday, 22 May announced that India will begin domestic production of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik from August.
The decision comes amid vaccine shortage in the country, forcing some state governments to halt vaccination for the 18-44 age group.
Speaking to reporters in St Petersburg, Venkatesh explained that the production will take place in three phases.
As a part of the first phase, Russia has already sent a batch of fully prepared vaccines to India. In the second phase, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) – Russia’s sovereign wealth fund – will send another batch of vaccines in bulk but the filling of the vaccines into tiny glass vials will be done in India. The third phase entails the Russian side transferring the technology of Sputnik V over to India.
“Third, Russian side will transfer the technology to Indian company and the Indian company will produce it fully in India. All these 3 put together will be about 850 million doses.”D Bala Venkatesh, Indian Ambassador to Russia
According to ANI, the domestic production of the vaccine will only begin from August, but the number of doses that are expected to be imported is likely to be upto 50 lakhs.
The Russian side has also proposed Sputnik Light, the Indian ambassador said, but the regulatory approvals for that in India are still incomplete.
“But once those regulatory approvals are given, Sputnik Light will be one more area of cooperation between India and Russia,” Venkatesh added.
Currently Indian pharma company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is in discussion with RDIF for acquiring the rights to produce Sputnik V. The company imported 210,000 doses of Sputnik since May and has kicked off a vaccination drive in a tie-up with Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam.
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