As India is once again facing a health crisis with the arrival of a second COVID-19 wave and shortage of vaccines across the country, media reports revealed that DCGI’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has recommended Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use.
While further details on the development are awaited, the development after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) was scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss Sputnik V’s application for ‘Emergency Use Authorisation’ in the country.
Post expert recommendation, the vaccine will now need approval from DCGI for its emergency use in India. If approved, Sputnik V will become the third COVID-19 vaccine to be used for inoculations in India after Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which had partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct Sputnik V’s clinical trial in India, had sought government approval last week.
In February, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had announced that Sputnik V had an efficacy rate of 91.6 percent during the interim analysis of its phase III clinical trial.
Last week, as per a PTI report, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) signed several contracts with Indian firms to manufacture over 700 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine
“I do not exclude (the scenario) that further cooperation could cover the manufacturing of the Indian vaccine in Russia. I guess the experts are supposed to discuss this and to assess the efficiency of such a cooperation,” Lavrov said while answering a question on the possibility of India’s indigenous vaccine COVAXIN being manufactured in Russia in the near future,” PTI quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying.
Apart from Sputnik V, India is also reportedly considering Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine for use in India.
Amid rising number of cases in India due to the second wave, the availability of more vaccines is indeed the need of the hour.