India to begin Sputnik V production in Aug

India’s envoy to Russia says, 65-70% of Sputnik produced anywhere in the world will be from India, reports Asian Lite News

In a development that could potentially boost India’s vaccination campaign, Sputnik V’s local production is expected to start by August, said Indian envoy to Russia DB Venkatesh Verma.

According to him, of the total Sputnik V vaccines in the world, 65-70% would be India-made.

Talking about the Covid-19 vaccine arrangement between India and Russia, Verma said that 1,50,000 plus 60,000 doses of Sputnik have been supplied to India so far and by the end of May, 3 million doses will be supplied in bulk.

The supply of vaccines is expected to hit 5 million by June and the production of the vaccine in India is expected to begin by August, he added.

“Sputnik will be produced in India in three phases. First, supply from Russia – fully made – which has already started. Second, RDIF will send to India in bulk. It will be ready for use but it will have to be filled in various bottles in India. Third, the Russian side will transfer the technology to the Indian company and the Indian company will produce it fully in India. All these three phases put together will be about 850 million doses,” said Verma in St Petersburg.

He announced that Russia has also proposed another Covid-19 vaccine named ‘Sputnik Light’. The regulatory approvals for that in India are still not completed but once those regulatory approvals are given, Sputnik Light will be one more area of cooperation between India and Russia, he added.

Amid the pandemic, both India and Russia have cooperated with each other with New Delhi sending hydroxychloroquine to the country last year, while this year Moscow sent two planes full of aid amid the second deadly wave of the Covid pandemic in India.

Detailing the situation on account of the Covid pandemic, the envoy said, “the situation is coming under control.”

On the black fungus crisis, he said, India is in “touch with the Russian authorities if they can supply some medicines” related to the treatment of the illness.

When asked about the proposed supply of S-400 missiles to India from Russia, Verma said, “In the last quarter of 2021, the contract will start to be implemented. We have a team in Russia that’s part of the training program for the crew that will be operating the systems, they are already in Russia for training.”

Sputnik’s supply to Centre

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories plans to supply Sputnik V to the government only when local production begins, an official from the pharma firm had recently said.

“The 50% allocation to government’s demand happens once the domestic manufacturing by Indian companies starts. For the imported product, at the moment, it is our intent to serve as wide a population as possible,” said Sauri Gudlavalleti, Dr Reddy’s head of integrated product development organization.

Besides supplies to the central government, even distribution across the country in major cities is likely to take about two months as the company progressively looks at conducting pilot tests for cold storage, Gudlavalleti said.

(Credit: India News Network)