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India to approve 5 more COVID-19 vaccines by October, Sputnik V nod likely in 10 days: Report

Novovax vaccine may be available by September, while approval for Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine is likely by October,

April 12, 2021 / 10:14 AM IST
Sputnik V is priced at less than $10 per shot, making it one of the most affordable vaccines. (Image: Reuters)

Sputnik V is priced at less than $10 per shot, making it one of the most affordable vaccines. (Image: Reuters)

As more states flag shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses amid a spike in cases, the government is set to speed up the process of granting emergency approvals to other shots.

In a big boost to the vaccination drive, India will get five new vaccines by the end of the third quarter of 2021, ANI reported top government sources as saying.

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India has granted emergency use authorisation to indigenously made Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, and Oxford University-Astrazeneca's vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covishield.

"We can expect five more vaccines by Q3 2021. These vaccines are Sputnik V vaccine (in collaboration with Dr Reddy's), Johnson & Johnson vaccine (in collaboration with Biological E), Novavax vaccine (in collaboration with Serum India), Zydus Cadila's vaccine, and Bharat Biotech's intranasal vaccine," the source told the news agency.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Of all the vaccines, Sputnik V will be the first one to get approval. "It is expected that Sputnik is likely to get the EUA within the next ten days," the source added.

When asked about the timeline, the government source said that Sputnik V is expected to be available latest by June, while Zydus and Johnson and Johnson shots will be available by August.

Novovax may be available by September, while approval for the nasal vaccine is likely by October, the report said.

The government is making all efforts to accelerate the progress without cutting any corners in research, development, and clinical trial stages, source added.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

Read: Bharat Biotech plans to hike Covaxin production to 12 million doses a month by July

Sputnik V approval is likely to give a major boost to India's vaccination drive as the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has tied up with at least 6 India-based pharma companies for the production of the vaccine.

On April 5, the RDIF and drug firm Panacea Biotec had said that they had agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India.

It has also signed an agreement with Virchow Biotech to produce up to 200 million doses a year of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.

On March 19, RDIF and India's Stelis Biopharma said they have partnered to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of the Sputnik V.

RDIF has similar deals with Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Gland Pharma and Hetero.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 12, 2021 10:14 am

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