NEW DELHI: The government has permitted the export of Russia’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik Light domestically produced here as the jab has not yet been approved for emergency use in India, sources said on Sunday.
Indian drug firm Hetero Biopharma Limited has been allowed to export 40 lakh doses of Sputnik Light to Russia, sources in the know of the developments told PTI.
Sputnik Light is the same as component-1 of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V which is being used in India’s anti-Covid inoculation programme after getting emergency use authorisation from India’s Drug Regulator in April.
The Russian ambassador had urged the Indian government to allow the export of Sputnik Light produced by Hetero Biopharma, one of the partners of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in the production of the jab, to his country till the vaccine gets emergency use authorisation from India’s drug regulator.
In a communication to the Centre, Russian Ambassador Nicholay Kudashev had stated that Hetero Biopharma Limited already has manufactured one million doses of Component 1 of the Sputnik V and two million doses of the Sputnik Light but the six-month shelf life of the vaccine may expire before its registration which will result in the wastage of vaccine doses, sources said.
“The government has permitted Indian drug firm Hetero Biopharma to export 40 lakh doses of Sputnik Light to Russia. The decision was taken this week following detailed deliberations,” a source said.
Over the past months, the RDIF has been working closely with Indian pharmaceutical companies to ramp up the production of Sputnik vaccine in India that could be used in the local and global markets, the ambassador had stated in his communication last month.
At the moment RDIF together with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is working with authorities concerned on the registration of the Sputnik Light in India.