Expert panel recommends approval to Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine

India is set to soon have a third Covid-19 vaccine – Sputnik V from Russia. The expert panel reviewing Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ (DRL’s) application for approval to the Russian vaccine candidates has recommended that approval be given to this human adenovirus (flu virus)-based vaccine. Now, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) will consider this recommendation and decide whether to grant Sputnik V approval for restricted emergency use in India.


The other two vaccines – Covishield by Serum Institute and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech – that were recommended for grant of approval by the subject expert committee (SEC) were approved by the DCGI within days.


Sputnik V has been registered in 59 countries globally with a total population of over 1.5 billion people. The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent.


Sputnik V will be manufactured in India by several companies including Hetero, Gland Pharma, Stelis Pharma, Virchow Group, etc, and a total production capacity of over 900 mn has been lined up. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) plans to export the bulk of this capacity and, according to DRL, RDIF’s Indian partner, about 250 mn doses would be for India.


According to sources, more players like Pune-based Serum Institute and Shilpa Medicare are also likely manufacturing partners; talks are on. The total capacity for making Sputnik V in India can thus cross one billion doses annually, much ahead of the other vaccine candidates.


Sputnik V requires a minus 18-20 degree Celsius cold chain to remain stable. Work is on to come up with a lyophilised (or freeze dried) version of the vaccine; it will enable the vaccine to remain stable in 2-8 degree Celsius.


As Russian Covid19 vaccine Sputnik V nears entry into the Indian market, now one of the largest drug firms in the country, Mankind Pharmaceuticals is likely to partner with the RDIF for distributing the vaccine in India.


Sources further indicated that Sputnik V might be priced at Rs 500 per dose when it is commercially available in the private market in India. The Indian government and RDIF, however, will negotiate on prices at which the government will procure the vaccine for the national Covid-19 immunisation drive.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel