Know Everything About SPUTNIK-V Vaccine; How It Will Be A Game Changer For India?

by Shatakshi Gupta

Positive news has come in the form of a new vaccine in the country. Its effect was also visible on the sentiment of the Indian Stock market. This vaccine brings a positive ray of hope for Indians.

On Monday, the Central Drugs Authority approved the emergency use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik-V. This becomes the third vaccine to be approved, after COVAXIN and COVISHIELD. India is the 60th country in the world that has approved Sputnik-V. The efficacy of this Russian vaccine against corona infection is the highest after Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna’s vaccine.

What data speaks about this vaccine?

According to the journal Lancet, when people over the age of 60 years were tested for Sputnik-V, they did not show severe or moderate symptoms of corona until 21 days after the first dose, and in this age group, its efficacy was recorded at 91.8%. In this way, it was concluded that the vaccine is 100% effective against severe or moderate patients of the corona.

 Apart from this, its phase-3 trials were done on more than 20 thousand volunteers in Russia. Overall, it was revealed that the vaccine is 91.6% effective against Coronavirus. Its phase-3 trials have been done on 1,300 volunteers in India.

Also read: Covid-19 Updates: Where are we in our battle against Corona

How does this vaccine work?

Sputnik-V is different from other vaccines in many ways. Like COVISHIELD, this vaccine is also made up of adenovirus vectors, but its two different vectors are used in this instead of one. The first dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine is based on rAD26, while the second dose is based on rAD5.  However, both these vectors produce sufficient antibodies against coronaviruses. Both these vectors target and eliminate the ‘spike’ protein responsible for further infection. The rationale behind using different vectors in both doses is that antibodies can remain in the body for a much longer duration.

Side-effects of Sputnik-V

 No serious side effects have been reported so far regarding this vaccine. However, common side effects like fever, pain, fatigue may be observed after inoculation. But no serious illness or death has reported out of it.  According to the data printed in the Lancet, out of the 19,866 Volunteers who were given both doses of Sputnik-V, only 70 people had serious side effects.  Notably, 23 of them were from the placebo group, that is, these people were in the trial, but they were not Sputnik-V.

Logistics and storage

 The biggest problem with the vaccine is its storage. But there is not much problem with this Russian vaccine. One of the biggest advantages of Sputnik-V is that it can be stored at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which is easily available in existing cold chain supplies. That is, there is no need to spend on cold-chain infrastructure for this.

How much it costs?

Although, no official information has come about its price yet. But it is believed that a dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine will come under 10 dollars( approx. 750 rupees). For context, the cost of one dose of COVISHIELD and COVAXIN is available in our country at 250 rupees, whereas it is being given free in government hospitals.

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

Manufacturing of Sputnik-V in India

Just as Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute, similarly the Russian vaccine will be manufactured by Dr. Reddy Lab of India. Sputnik-V has been made by the Gamalaya Institute of Russia with funding from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Phase-lll trials of this Vaccine in India are being conducted by Dr. Reddy’s, so as its production. In addition to Dr. Reddy’s Lab, RDIF has tied up with 5 Indian companies regarding the production of vaccine.

Which countries are using Sputnik-V?

Sputnik-V is the world’s first corona vaccine, which was approved by the Russian government for Emergency Use on August 12 last year. So far this vaccine is being used in 59 countries. India is the 60th country to approve the use of Sputnik-V.  Some major countries using the Sputnik-V vaccine include Argentina, Bolivia, Algeria, Palestine, Myanmar, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Angola, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Morocco, Jordan, Seychelles, Mauritius and Vietnam.