Sputnik V emergency use authorisation likely soon: Russian Deputy envoy to India

Russian deputy envoy to India Roman Babushkin, close on the heels on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s India visit, has expressed hope that the authorisation for emergency use for Sputnik V vaccine could come in the next 7-10 days.

Babushkin told ET that Sputnik vaccines will be competitive and affordable for the Indian population and that the Russian side has a flexible approach. He said that the approval for emergency use is ‘anticipated very much’ within 7-10 days and said the vaccine can be stored between -2 to -8 degrees in what would assure the regulator.

The deputy envoy also noted that the bilateral vaccine partnership should be viewed in the context of larger India-Russia global strategic partnership that has acquired many dimensions.

The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 percent as confirmed by the data published in the leading medical journal, Lancet. It has already been registered in 60 countries globally.

India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has become one of the biggest producers of the Sputnik V shot outside Russia. Other countries producing it include Brazil, China and South Korea.

The Russian side has signed several contracts with Indian firms to manufacture over 700 million doses of the anti-coronavirus Sputnik V vaccine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said on Tuesday following his wide-ranging dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

At a joint press event after holding wide-ranging talks with Jaishankar, Lavrov lauded India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity and said Russia has close cooperation with the country on vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The visiting minister said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) signed contracts with several Indian contractors to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine to the tune of 700-750 million doses. This becomes possible because of the manufacturing capacity in India, he added.

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Vaccine and pharma major Panacea Biotec recently joined a growing list of Indian firms cleared to produce Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine against Covid-19.

With this, RDIF has formed partnerships for production of 850 million doses of Sputnik V in India. The first tie-up was with Hetero Biopharma in November, while the collaboration with Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech were announced last month. For clinical trials and distribution in the country, it has partnered with pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

RDIF is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund which has investments in other sectors in India.



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