Mumbai: India’s immunisation plan against Covid-19 may get bolstered soon with the rollout of locally manufactured single-dose Sputnik Light in September. Panacea Biotec, which had earlier partnered Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), has submitted the dossier for seeking emergency-use authorisation to India’s drug regulator recently, sources told TOI. The vaccine, which will be available in limited quantities initially, is expected to be priced around Rs 750.
Till now, the immunisation programme has been using imported two-dose Sputnik V, rolled out by Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s, RDIF’s exclusive distribution partner for India.
Shortages in supply of the two-dose Sputnik V could be resolved as early as the month-end, with Dr Reddy’s ramping up supplies, sources added. The full rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine was put on hold and is hence lagging, as its imports from Russia were impacted in June. Around five lakh doses of Sputnik V’s component 2 vaccine, which have been imported, could be rolled out in India soon.
We are also working closely with our partners in India for manufacturing readiness. We expect that locally manufactured doses are likely to be available from the September-October period’’, a Dr Reddy’s spokesperson said.
Sputnik Light, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and backed by RDIF, received emergency use authorisation in Russia in May. It is perceived by experts as more ‘suitable’, given the task of vaccinating a large population even as a possible third wave looms. The Sputnik Light jab has demonstrated nearly 80% efficacy, according to analysed data taken 28 days after the injection was administered in a trial in Russia, an RDIF statement said.