The second shipment of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V arrived in India on Sunday morning, May 16. In addition to two other vaccinations, Sputnik is one of the three coronavirus vaccines approved in India – Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.
It is also the first overseas-made vaccine allowed to be used in India. When the second shipment landed in Hyderabad, Telangana, the Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said the fight between Russia and India against the coronavirus was an example of the special and exclusive strategic partnership between the two countries and an effective international model Working against pandemics.
Telangana: The second broadcast of Sputnik V arrives in Hyderabad at pic.twitter.com/eEWWhd85YK
– ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2021
“We are very pleased to see that the Russian-Indian joint fight against COVID-19, which is one of the most important areas of our bilateral cooperation today, is firmly on track and progressing,” said the Russian envoy.
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The vaccination with Sputnik V began on May 14th in Hyderabad. The drug company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories launched the vaccine in India, with the first dose being given as part of a limited pilot project.
The company said that imported doses of the vaccine are currently set at a maximum retail price of Rs 948 with 5 percent GST per dose, which equates to Rs 995.4 per dose. The first shipment of imported doses of the Sputnik V vaccine landed in India on May 1st.
Ambassador Kudashev further stated that the life-saving humanitarian aid Russia has provided over the past month is being used successfully to help Indians overcome the aftermath of COVID-19.
“This is indeed an excellent example of the special and privileged strategic partnership and effective model of international cooperation against pandemics that knows no unnecessary obstacles,” he said.
Kudashev said the delivery of the second shipment of Sputnik V vaccine in India was “very timely” after the recent start of Russian vaccination in the Indian vaccination program.
“The effectiveness of Sputnik V is known worldwide. In Russia it has been used successfully to vaccinate citizens since the second half of 2020. Russian specialists stated that it is also effective against the new COVID-19 strains,” he stated .
Speaking of production capacity, Kudashev said, “We anticipate production in India will gradually increase by 850 million doses per year. We look forward to further expanding our bilateral and multilateral cooperation with India to stop the pandemic. ”
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The Russian envoy also announced that plans to launch Sputnik Lite, a single-dose vaccine, are soon underway in India.
Dr. Reddy’s works closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to meet legal requirements and ensure smooth and on-time delivery.
The Hyderabad-based company said it will work closely with government and private sector stakeholders in India to ensure the widest possible coverage of the Sputnik V vaccine as part of the national vaccination effort.
“With the increasing number of cases in India, vaccination is our most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. Contributing to the vaccination campaign in India is currently our top priority to help Indians be healthy and safe,” said Dr. Reddys co-chair and MD GV Prasad said.
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Dr. Reddy’s had received permission from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to import the Sputnik vaccine into India for restricted use in emergency situations in April.
The company had partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct the clinical trials with Sputnik V and distribute the vaccine in India in September 2020. Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots during vaccination. Efficacy was determined to be 91.6 percent according to an article published in the Lancet medical journal.