Sputnik V Jabs Likely to be Available in India Next Week: Govt
India will manufacture a total of 216 crore doses of all vaccines between August and December 2021.
Russian COVID vaccine Sputnik V is likely to be made available to citizens in India in the coming week, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said on Thursday, 13 May.
The announcement comes at a time when the country experiences a steep surge in COVID cases, prompting many states to go under lockdown to reduce the burden on the overwhelmed healthcare system.
“The Sputnik V vaccine has arrived in India. I’m happy to say that we’re hopeful that it’ll be available in the market next week. We hope that the sales of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week.”Dr VK Paul
Paul added that more supply will follow. He said India will manufacture a total of 216 crore doses of all vaccines between August and December and will produce 15.6 crore doses of Sputnik V starting July.
“There should be no doubt that vaccines will be available for all as we move forward.”
The NITI Aayog member added that so far, India has inoculated using nearly 18 crore doses and 1/3rd of the 45-years-and-above age group has been vaccinated. The-vulnerable-to-COVID-group contributes to 88% of the deaths, which, as per Paul, has resulted in a lower risk of death to the population.
So far, three vaccines have been granted approval, Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V. Paul said, “Any vaccine that is approved by FDA and WHO can come to India. Import licence will be granted in 1-2 days. No import licence is pending at the moment.”
“We hope that Johnson & Johnson also steps forward to increase availability in India. We invited them to manufacture their shot here, along with our companies. Johnson & Johnson did a good job. They accepted this offer under Quad.”
The COVID working group, chaired by N K Arora, recommended extension of the gap between the first and second doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks from 6-8 weeks. The Union Health Ministry has approved of this recommendation as well.
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