India Gets 3rd Vaccine: DCGI Approves Russian-made Sputnik-V For Emergency Use

by Shatakshi Gupta

Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V has been approved in India. This vaccine will be manufactured by five pharma companies in the country and 850 million (85 crores) dose is going to be produced annually. Apart from this, it is being told that by the end of April India can get the dose of this vaccine.

The Russian vaccine was approved after being approved by a special committee of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), India’s drug regulator.On Monday, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization approved it after the deadly second wave in the country.

Sputnik V manufactured in India by Dr. Reddy’s is effective up to 91.6 percent. The drug regulator of India gave the green signal only after Sputnik-V was found to be completely safe and effective in preventing infection. It was reported that this is the highest efficacy after Modern and Pfizer.  At the same time, the vaccine is already in the third phase of the clinical trial in India and Dr. Reddy applied in February to approve the emergency use of the vaccine. 

Also read: Here Is All You Need To Know About ‘Sputnik- V’, The World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine

Vaccination started on 16 January in India and COVISHIELD and COVAXIN were approved earlier this year. COVISHIELD is co-founded by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

Last week, there were reports that there is a shortage of vaccines in many states. Ergo, it has become extremely important to approve the third vaccine.

85 million vaccines will be supplied every year

RDIF reported that Sputnik-V was trialled in India at 1600 people.  Their age ranged from 18 to 99 years. The results of the trial are good so far. Now after getting approval from the Government of India, its production will start. Dr. Reddy Pharma will manufacture it in India. The company claims that 85 crore vaccines will be manufactured here every year. With this 400 million people can be vaccinated.

About Sputnik-V

The mRNA vaccines of Mordana and Pfizer have proven to be effective by more than 90%. After this Sputnik-V is the most effective at 91.6%. It has been created by the Gamalaya Institute of Russia with funding from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). SPUTNIK-V is made up of two adenovirus vectors, like COVISHIELD. Adenoviruses found in chimpanzees have been used in COVISHIELD. Whereas, the Russian vaccine used to combine two different vectors.

Sputnik-V has received approval in 59 countries of the world as of April 1. It was first approved by Russia in August 2020. It was subsequently approved in Belarus, Serbia, Argentina, Bolivia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, UAE, Turkmenistan. It can also be approved soon by the drug regulator of the European Union.

How it will help India?

There are only two vaccines available in India at this time.  COVAXIN has an efficacy rate of 81% among them andCOVISHIELDshows efficacy up to 80%, given a longer gap between two shots. In this case, the Russian vaccine will become the most effective vaccine with 91.6% efficacy.

Currently, the production of both available vaccines is 40 million doses per month. Right now 35 lakh doses are being given daily.  In such a situation, at least 7 crore doses will be required every month. To fulfil the demand, it has become necessary to approve Sputnik-V at the moment.

According to RDIF CEO Kirill Dimitrev, the vaccine has been priced below $ 10. That is, it will be available for less than 700 rupees. It is inexpensive compared to other vaccines that prove more than 90% effectiveworldwide. On the top of that, it can be stored at a temperature of 2 to 8 °C, which implies cheap logistics too as compared to other high efficacy vaccines.

Developers say that Sputnik-V increases immune response against infection more quickly and effectively. This vaccine is 100% effective in preventing severe symptoms or death. This is a very important parameter because it can save people’s lives.  Single dose also gives protection against the disease up to 87.6%.