India approves Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V

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Committee of experts has cleared Russia’s Covid vaccine Sputnik-V for emergency use approval in India in the middle of a record spike in virus cases in the country.

If approved by regulator DGCI, this will become the third vaccine to be used in India after Serum Institute of India’s Covishield – developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca – and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, NDTV reported.

Sputnik-V, manufactured in India by Dr Reddy’s, has the highest effectiveness – 91.6 per cent — after the Moderna and Pfizer shots.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Indian drug regulator met to clear the vaccine for emergency use approval In its last meeting on 1 April, the committee had asked Dr Reddy’s to submit data on how the shot activates the body’s immune response against the coronavirus.

Dr Reddy’s had applied on February 19 for emergency use of Sputnik-V, which is in Phase 3 of clinical trials in India, the UAE, Venezuela and Belarus.

In India, Sputnik-V trials are on for around 1,600 people between 18 and 99.

Sputnik-V, named after the first Soviet Space satellite, works on the principle of a weakened Covid virus delivering parts of a pathogen that triggers an immune response in the body.

The two-dose vaccine, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, costs less than $10 for each shot in international markets.

The dry form of the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees.

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