India will receive a first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 on May 1, the head of the Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriev, said. However, he did not specify how many vaccines would be in the first batch or where they would be made. “The first doses will be delivered on May 1,” Kirill Dmitriev, said, adding he hoped Russian supplies would help India navigate its way out of the pandemic in time.
India, in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic, is struggling to tackle surging coronavirus infections that are overwhelming hospitals, and countries like Britain, Germany and the United States have pledged to send urgent medical aid. Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, which is marketing Sputnik V globally, has already signed agreements with five leading Indian manufacturers for over 850 million doses of the vaccine a year. The production of the vaccine will commence in May and it is expected to go up to 50 million doses per month. India has become the 60th country to allow the use of Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had registered this vaccine under the emergency use authorization procedure.
That decision was based on clinical trials conducted in Russia as well as the additional local trials conducted in India in partnership with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.