Russia’s Sputnik-V Approved by Experts for Emergency use in India

Amid the spike in Covid-19 cases, a committee of experts has given a green signal to Russia’s Sputnik-V for use in India.  With the latest addition India now has three approved Covid-19 vaccines – Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik-V.

However, the vaccine still needs an approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) before it can be widely used to inoculate citizens.

This comes when the country is facing a second wave of Covid-19. The decision to inculcate the Russian vaccine was taken for emergency use in the country.

India has administered the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield – developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca – and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, to the people in a phase wised manner. However, with the rising cases, various states have demanded for immediate availability of the vaccines. The Sputnik V vaccine will boost India’s capability to take its vaccination drive forward.

Sputnik-V, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, has been approved by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for emergency use authorisation (EUA) in India.

Earlier, Hyderabad-based pharma giant Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had last week sought the Centre’s nod for the vaccine to be used in India. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) joined hands with Dr Reddy’s in September 2020 to carry out clinical trials of Sputnik V in India.

The RDIF has also inked deals with several Indian pharma companies, including Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Virchow Biotech, and Stelis Biopharma, for the production of vaccine doses.

The Russian jab has an efficacy rate of 91.6% and is carrying out its phase-3 clinical trials in Belarus, UAE, India, and Venezuela, according to Sputnik-V’s website.

India has vaccinated 10.45 crore people, according to data published by the Union health ministry on Monday. The government has declared a vaccine festival from April 11 to April 14. On Day 1 of Tika Utsav, the government said 30 lakh doses were administered.

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