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COVID-19 Vaccines | India to produce Russia's Sputnik Light single-shot vaccine

Interim result of the phase III trials of the new Russian vaccine candidate is expected by May end. The trials involved 7,000 and were conducted across countries including Russia and the United Arab Emirates

May 07, 2021 / 01:23 PM IST
India approved the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on April 13. (Representative image: Sputnik V)

India approved the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on April 13. (Representative image: Sputnik V)


India will be among the countries producing Russia’s new single-shot Sputnik Light vaccine. Production will begin in the coming months, as per the company’s official Twitter account.

Speaking at a press conference on May 6, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev said he hopes all 64 countries that registered Russia’s two-dose Sputnik V vaccine will also register Sputnik Light.

He added that the company has partnerships with more than 20 producers, including the countries such as China, India and South Korea, “who will make both versions of the vaccine”.

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RDIF had earlier on May 6 said that it has authorised use of Sputnik Light. The vaccine has 80 percent efficacy, as per Russian authorities. The vials are expected to cost less than $10 and will be exported.

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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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Sputnik Light was administered in Russia’s own mass vaccination programme between December 5, 2020 and April 15, 2021 and data analysed found 79.4 percent efficacy 28 days after vaccination, as per an RDIF statement.

Interim result of the phase III trials of the new Russian vaccine candidate is expected by May end. The trials involved 7,000 and were conducted across countries including Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sputnik V, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute has been granted approval for emergency use in India. It became the third vaccine and first foreign option – besides Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech Covaxin, in the country’s vaccination drive.

The timing of its entry is crucial as India has opened up its vaccination drive for all citizens above the age of 18 from May 1.

The first consignment of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine from Russia landed at GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo on May 1. India's envoy to Russia Venkatesh Varma had earlier said that around 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will be available in India by early May and will be rolled out in phases.

Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy's Laboratories collaborated with RDIF to conduct the bridge clinical trials for Sputnik V in India. India was the 60th country to approve the vaccine.

Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 7, 2021 01:23 pm

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