India Covid: First dose of Sputnik V vaccine administered in Hyderabad
The vaccines are tested for sterility, efficacy and toxicity and usually take about 28 days for clearance
The first dose of the imported Sputnik V, the Covid vaccine, was administered in Hyderabad, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories announced on Friday.
The Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, granted regulatory clearance for the drug on Thursday.
The first lot of 150,000 vaccines of the Russian drug arrived on May 1, but 100 samples had to be sent to the Kasauli lab for approval. The vaccines are tested for sterility, efficacy and toxicity and usually take about 28 days for clearance. However, following the Covid crisis, it has now been shortened to just 10 days.
Incidentally, while Sputnik V has not got approval from the WHO or the US FDA, experts from the WHO and European Medicines Agency are currently conducting on-site inspections at the Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow, where they are being produced.
Additional consignments of the Russian drug are expected over the coming months and ultimately the drug will also be manufactured in India by its partners. The vaccine is priced at a maximum retail price of Rs948, with an additional five per cent tax.
According to Dr V.K. Paul, member of NITI Aagog, who has been handling the initiatives on the Covid front in India, 2.16 billion doses of anti-Covid drugs will be produced in India between August and December. These would include 750 million doses of Covishield, produced by Serum Institute of India, Pune; 550 million of Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine made by Bharat Biotech; and 150.6 million Sputnik Vs.
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