Sputnik V is priced at less than $10 per shot, making it one of the most affordable vaccines. (Image: Reuters)
The government panel on COVID-19 vaccines is likely to discuss emergency use authorisation application of Russian vaccine Sputnik V this week. If approved, Sputnik V will be the third vaccine to get approval for use in India. The government has so far approved AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and Bharat Biotech's Covishield.
The Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is likely to meet sometime this week to consider the emergency use application of the Sputnik V, Hindustan Times reported, citing officials.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Track this LIVE blog for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic
Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. It became the world's first registered COVID-19 vaccine based on the human adenoviral vector platform.
Sputnik V is priced at less than $10 per shot, making it one of the most affordable vaccines. According to the findings, the two-dose vaccine has demonstrated the efficacy of 91.6 percent in age groups 18 and older.
Read | Premas Biotech, Oramed to develop potential COVID-19 vaccine pill
"The committee looking into COVID-related application could convene any time this week," an official told the newspaper.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, which has distribution rights in India, sought emergency-use approval for the vaccine in February, but the committee experts asked for safety and immunogenicity data from Sputnik V’s phase II/III trials being conducted in India.
Mauritius became the latest country to grant approval to vaccines on March 22. The vaccine has now received approval from 55 countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Myanmar.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), has so far tied up with five India-based pharma companies for the production of the vaccine. The latest of these deals was announced on March 23.
Also read: Why govt recommends increasing interval between the first and second dose of Covishield
RDIF sovereign wealth fund said it had reached an agreement with Virchow Biotech to produce up to 200 million doses a year of the Sputnik V vaccine in India. RDIF said the transfer of technology needed to produce the vaccine would be completed in the second quarter of the year.
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 signed similar deals with Indian pharmaceutical firms Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Gland Pharma and Hetero.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak