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Covid-19: Vaccination with Sputnik V launched in India, first dose administered

Moscow: The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announced the launch of vaccination with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus in India today.

Sputnik V has become the first foreign-made vaccine to be used in India contributing to the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Inoculations with Sputnik V in Hyderabad today followed the arrival of the first batch of the vaccine in India on May 1, 2021. The second batch of Sputnik V is expected to arrive in India by the end of the week.

Sputnik V was approved for use in India on April 12, 2021 and granted an emergency use authorisation. India is the leading production hub for Sputnik V.

RDIF has reached agreements with the leading pharmaceutical companies in the country (Gland Pharma, Hetero Biopharma, Panacea Biotec, Stelis Biopharma, Virchow Biotech) aimed at production of more than 850 million doses per year.

To date Sputnik V is registered in 65 countries with total population of over 3.2 billion people. Post-vaccination studies in a number of countries demonstrated that Sputnik V is the safest and most effective vaccine against coronavirus. Sputnik V ranks second among coronavirus vaccines globally in terms of the number of approvals issued by government regulators.

Sputnik V is the first foreign-made vaccine used in India. RDIF stands ready to support our partners in India to launch a full-scale vaccination with Sputnik V as soon as possible. The safe and effective Russian vaccine, which to date is authorized in 65 countries, will make an important contribution in upscaling the vaccination in India and bringing down the number of cases,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

With the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine receiving clearance in India, Deepak Sapra, Global Head of Custom Pharma Services at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories received the first jab of the vaccine in Hyderabad.

The first consignment of imported doses of Sputnik V vaccine landed in India on May 1 received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh on May 13.

As per a statement, imported doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are presently priced at Rs 948 (+5 per cent GST) per dose, with the possibility of a lower price point when local supply begins.

Sputnik V has a number of key advantages: Efficacy of Sputnik V is 97.6 per cent based on the analysis of data on the coronavirus infection rate among those in Russia vaccinated with both components of Sputnik V from December 5, 2020 to March 31, 2021; Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years.

Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots; the safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades.

Also, there are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V. The storage temperature of Sputnik V at 2 to 8 degree C means it can be stored in a conventional refrigerator without any need to invest in additional cold-chain infrastructure; and the price of Sputnik V is less than USD 10 per shot, making it affordable around the world. (ANI)

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