The Sputnik-V vaccine has been recommended for use in India by the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. Sputnik-V will become the third approved Covid-19 vaccine in India if the Drugs Controller General of India approves the recommendation.
The vaccine will be manufactured in India by Dr. Reddy’s. Dr. Reddy’s is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Hyderabad, Telangana. It has shown an efficacy of 91.6% efficacy in its Phase 3 trials. The Sputnik-V vaccine became the first vaccine to be approved in the world after Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that his government had approved the same to combat Covid-19.
The Covidshield and Covaxin, the two vaccines approved thus far in India, had been recommended by the SEC as well following which the DGCI had approved them for usage. Sputnik-V is named after the world’s first satellite sent by the Soviet Union. It was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The vaccine can be stored at a temperature of +2 to +8°C. It is also said to be equally effective across all age groups. “Sputnik V demonstrated the same level of efficacy in all age groups. At first there were doubts that the efficacy in people aged 60 and over would be lower… but it was absolutely not,” Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the Gamaleya research institute, said.
Sputnik-V is an adenoviral-based vaccine against Covid-19. It is also called the Gam-COVID-Vac. There was some controversy initially regarding the apparent haste with which approval for the same was granted by Vladimir Putin but since then, data has confirmed that it is effective against Covid-19. Esteemed medical journal The Lancet had confirmed the same. Calls were being made to approve the usage of the vaccine given the second wave of the Coronavirus in India.
Top government sources have told ANI that more vaccines will be approved in the near future. A source was quoted as saying, “India currently has 2 Covid-19 vaccines being manufactured locally: Covishield and Covaxin, and we can expect five more vaccines by Q3 2021. These vaccines are Sputnik V vaccine (in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s), Johnson & Johnson vaccine (in collaboration with Biological E), Novavax vaccine (in collaboration with Serum India), Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal Vaccine. Safety and efficacy are the Union government’s primary concerns while granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to any Covid-19 vaccine in the country.”
On when the vaccines will be available for use, a source said, “Sputnik is expected to be available latest by June, if all goes well Johnson and Johnson ( Bio E) will be available by August, Cadilla Zydus will also be available by August, Novavex (Serum) by September and Nasal Vaccine (Bharat) by October.” Since Sputnik-V has received approval from the SEC today, the timeline for its availability is likely to change.