Russia to Deliver Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine to India on 1 May

The DCGI had approved the use of the Russian vaccine earlier this month.

2 min read
Over 850 million doses of Sputnik V are going to be produced in India annually, which will be sufficient to vaccinate more than 425 million people around the world.

India will receive the first batch of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, 1 May, the head of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev told Reuters.

He added that he hopes the Russian supplies will help India navigate its way out of the pandemic in time, but did not specify the quantity of the dispatch.

The sovereign wealth fund, responsible for marketing Sputnik V globally, is already part of agreements with five Indian vaccine manufacturers for over 850 million doses per annum.

The RDIF has said it expects production of the vaccine in India to reach 50 million doses a month by the summer and to rise further, Reuters reported.

The GoI has waived customs duty on the import of COVID-19 vaccines, medical grade oxygen and other healthcare-related equipment as the nation grapples with the worst health crisis in recent memory.

India is amidst a second, more ferocious wave of coronavirus with overburdened hospitals and a crumbling healthcare infrastructure. On Monday, the country reported over 3.5 lakh COVID-19 cases, a global record in daily number of infections for the fifth straight day.

Countries like Britain, Germany, France and the United States have pledged to send emergency healthcare aid amid the crisis.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had in January given the emergency use approval to two COVID-19 vaccines – Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca manufactured by Serum Institute of India in Pune. Most recently, the DCGI also gave approval to Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

Indigenous vaccine candidates of Zydus Cadila, Biological E and Gennova are also in the pipeline and are in advanced clinical trials in India.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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