India is set to receive its first tranche of Sputnik-V, the vaccine developed by Russia against the coronavirus disease, on Saturday, May 1. The Russian Direct Investment Fund Chief, Kirill Dmitriev, had stated last month that the vaccines will start arriving in India on May 1, with the hope to extend a helping hand towards India to mitigate the raging second wave of Covid-19 in the country.
However, the number of vaccines to be received by India or the place the vaccines would be made was not intimated. Discussions over launching the Russian vaccine for use in India, and its pricing, is still ongoing between Bala Venkatesh Verma, the Indian Ambassador to Russia, RDIF and the government of India.
Story so far: Covid-19 Candidate Sputnik V
Developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute and piloted by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Sputnik V was launched last year in August as the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine. Sputnik, a name derived by the Sputnik-1 satellite of 1957 of Russia, is being developed as a two-dose vaccine using two human recombinant adenovirus vectors – rAd5 and rAd26 which indicates the infections in the respiratory system. Both the doses of vaccine are different from one another, implying that two doses use different vectors to target the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Both the doses, different in nature, are aimed to provide longer protection against the infection.
Sputnik V: Safety & Efficacy
Days after India approved the use of Sputnik V as the third Covid-19 vaccine in the country, Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology announced Sputnik V with the highest efficacy among all vaccines developed to date against the Covid-19 virus,
In a statement issued, the institute indicated that the analysis of 3.8 million vaccinated shows Sputnik V efficacy is 97.6% in preventing infection, while the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing severe cases.”
Sputnik V: Global Reach of Variable Dosing
With maximum global reach, Sputnik V has so far, signed contracts with more than 60 countries. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is signing commercial deals for the supply of Sputnik V and has already signed agreements with five leading Indian manufacturers for over 85 crore doses of the vaccine a year.
Meanwhile, the third phase of inoculation drive in the country begins today, i.e May 1, with all those above the age of 18 years becoming eligible.