Sputnik V vaccine could be available for use in India by next week: Govt

Sputnik V. Photo: Reuters
The union government on Thursday said that Russia's Sputnik vaccine will likely be available for use by next week and also the local production of the shot will begin in July.

"Sputnik vaccine has arrived in India. I am happy to say that we are hopeful that it will be available in the market next week. We're hopeful that the sale of the limited supply that has come from there (Russia), will begin next week," said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog.

Sputnik V is the third vaccine India has given go-ahead to after Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield is developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute in India locally.

Addressing a briefing on the vaccination situation in the country, Dr Paul said that the Central government has already procured 350 million vaccine doses for the ongoing vaccination drive and more than 2 billion vaccine doses will be manufactured between August and December.

"Overall, 216 crore doses of vaccines will be manufactured in India between August-December - for India and for Indians. There should be no doubt that vaccine will be available for all as we move forward," he said.

Expressing optimism that more vaccines will be available going forward, Dr Paul said that various arms and departments of government, including the ministry of external affairs (MEA) is in touch with foreign vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson.

"They were officially asked if they would like to send doses to or manufacture in India, we will find partners and assist. They had said that they are working in their own way and they would talk of vaccine availability in Q3, in 2021. We are connected to them. I'm hopeful that they will step forward to increase availability in India," he said.

"Any vaccine that is approved by US FDA, WHO can come to India. Import license will be granted within 1-2 days. No import license is pending," Dr Paul further said.

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